Rules of the National Assembly

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This is the latest version of this legislation commenced on 09 Jun 2020.

South Africa

Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996

Rules of the National Assembly

  • Commenced on 26 May 2016

  • [This is the version of this document from 9 June 2020.]
  1. [Amended by Report of the National Assembly Rules Committee: Procedures to give effect to section 89 of the Constitution on 22 November 2018]

  2. [Amended by Third Report of National Assembly Rules Committee, 2019 on 3 December 2019]

  3. [Amended by First Report of National Assembly Rules Committee, 2020 (Virtual Meetings) on 9 June 2020]


The 9th Edition of the Rules of the National Assembly contains the rules as comprehensively revised (necessitating their complete renumbering) and adopted by the National Assembly on 26 May 2016. For ease of reference relevant supporting documents have been included as appendices.


Chapter 1
Sources of authority of Assembly and their application

Part 1 – Definitions

1. Definitions

In these rules, unless the context otherwise indicates —Assembly” means the National Assembly;ATC” means the document entitled Announcements, Tablings and Committee Reports, which supplements the Minutes of Proceedings of the National Assembly;attendance” means a member’s presence at a sitting of the House, a meeting of a mini-plenary session or any other committee or forum, or at any other official parliamentary activity;Chamber” means the Chamber of the National Assembly or any other chamber in which the proceedings of the House and its forums are conducted;Chief Whip” means the Chief Whip of the Majority Party;classification”, with reference to a Bill, means the classification of a Bill in terms of Joint Rule 160(6) or the reclassification of a Bill in terms of Joint Rule 163;Constitution” means the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996;constitutional institution” means —(a)any state institution mentioned in Section 181 of the Constitution; or(b)any other institution established, or of which the establishment is required, in terms of a specific provision of the Constitution, including the constitutional institutions listed in Schedule 1 of the Public Finance Management Act, 1999;constitution amendment Bill” means a Bill to which Section 74 of the Constitution applies;Council” means the National Council of Provinces;document” means any written instrument, and includes any electronic or other device in or on which information, including visual material, is recorded, stored or kept;duration of the House” means the term of the House or the remaining part of its term at any time;formal motion” means a motion of a procedural nature that in terms of Rule 123 does not require notice;forum” in relation to the Assembly means any formal gathering of members of the Assembly as provided for in the rules and orders to conduct the business of the Assembly, and includes sittings of the House, mini-plenary sessions of the House, and meetings of committees and other relevant structures of the Assembly;Gazette” means the national Government Gazette;House” means the Assembly unless otherwise specified;JTM” means the Joint Tagging Mechanism established by Joint Rule 151;member” means a member of the Assembly;mini-plenary session” means a subordinate meeting of the House for debating purposes only and involving a reduced number of members, as provided for in Rules 49 to 56;misconduct” in these rules means a breach of the standing rules of Parliament by a member, except a breach of the code of conduct contained in the schedule to the Joint Rules or conduct amounting to contempt of Parliament as defined in the Powers and Privileges Act;money Bill” means a Bill that appropriates money or imposes taxes, levies or duties and to which Section 77 of the Constitution applies;motion” means —(a)a proposal made by a member in the form of a draft resolution that the Assembly do something, order something to be done or express an opinion concerning some matter; or(b)a proposal made by a member that the Assembly discuss a subject presented by the member for that purpose;official parliamentary activities” means any business or activity of Parliament, including plenary sittings, committee meetings, study tours, workshops, parliamentary forums or any other parliamentary activity sanctioned by the Assembly, or its committees or presiding officers, as duly authorised;organ of state” means any executive organ of state in the national sphere of government as contemplated in Section 55(2) and defined in Section 239 of the Constitution;Parliamentary Protection Services” means any employee authorised by Parliament to perform security and protection services within the precincts of Parliament, and includes all parliamentary staff members employed, appointed, assigned, delegated or contracted by Parliament to perform security and protection functions within the precincts of Parliament;party whip” means a member designated by the leadership of a party to oversee and guide the conduct of its members in relation to the rules and the decorum and business of the House or a committee, and to perform such further functions as the House may prescribe;person in charge” —(a)with reference to a Bill introduced by a Cabinet member, a Deputy Minister or an Assembly member, means that Cabinet member, Deputy Minister or Assembly member;(b)with reference to a Bill introduced by an Assembly committee, means the chairperson or any other member of the committee designated by the committee;(c)with reference to a money Bill, means the Cabinet member responsible for national financial matters;(d)with reference to a Section 76(2) Bill introduced on behalf of a Cabinet member or Deputy Minister in the Council, means that Cabinet member or Deputy Minister;(e)with reference to a Section 76(2) Bill introduced in the Council, other than Bills referred to in Paragraph (d), means the Assembly member designated in terms of Joint Rule 217(2);(f)with reference to a committee report, means the member who introduces the report in the House on behalf of the committee; and(g)with reference to a motion, means the member who gives notice of the motion and/or moves the motion in the House;point of order” means a matter related to the procedure or practice of the House, or a complaint of unparliamentary conduct or behaviour on the part of another member, which a member is entitled to raise during the sitting of the House or committee when seeking guidance and a ruling on the matter from the presiding officer;Powers and Privileges Act” means the Powers, Privileges and Immunities of Parliament and Provincial Legislatures Act, 2004;precincts of Parliament” means the precincts referred to in Section 2 of the Powers and Privileges Act;private member” means any member other than a Minister, a Deputy Minister, the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker;question”, except in respect of question time or a question period and a question of privilege, means a proposal presented to the Assembly or a committee of the Assembly by the presiding officer for consideration and decision or disposal in some manner;question of privilege” means any report of an act which may constitute a breach of privilege or contempt of Parliament in terms of the Powers and Privileges Act;Question Paper” means, as applicable, the Question Paper produced for a particular question day or an Internal Question Paper containing all current questions that still have to be replied to;recess”, with reference to the Assembly, means a period determined as a recess by the Programme Committee, or by resolution of the Assembly, during which, subject to Rule 167, no business of the Assembly is conducted;Secretary” means the Secretary to Parliament;Section 75 Bill” means a Bill to which the procedure prescribed in Section 75 of the Constitution applies;Section 76(1) Bill” means a Section 76 Bill introduced in the Assembly;Section 76(2) Bill” means a Section 76 Bill introduced in the Council;session”, except in the context of a mini-plenary session as contemplated in Part 3 of Chapter 4, means an annual session of a Parliament;sitting day” means a day on which the Assembly sits or a mini-plenary session is held;special petition” means a petition requesting a pension or other specific or personal relief from the state which is not authorised by law;subject of a Bill” means the objects of the Bill as introduced in the Assembly and the substance of the Bill to give effect to those objects;substantive motion”, with reference to a member or the holder of an office specified in Rule 88, means a self-contained proposal in terms of Rule 85 or Rule 88 for separate consideration by the House, relating to any charge against that member or office-bearer;tabling”, in relation to any document or paper, means the official presentation of the document or paper in the House, or, if not presented in the House, the publication in the ATC of the document or paper after it has been officially submitted to the Speaker;term”, in relation to the Assembly, means the period for which the Assembly is elected in terms of Section 49(1) of the Constitution; andworking day” means any day of the week except —(a)Saturday and Sunday;(b)a public holiday in terms of the Public Holidays Act, 1994; and(c)a Monday following any of these public holidays that fall on a Sunday.

Part 2 – Sources of authority of National Assembly

2. Introduction

The sources of authority of the National Assembly are —(a)the Constitution;(b)the Powers and Privileges Act and any other applicable legislation;(c)the Rules of the National Assembly;(d)the Joint Rules of Parliament, if and when applicable;(e)orders or any other binding decision of the National Assembly;(f)directives and guidelines of the Rules Committee;(g)rulings by the Speaker and other presiding officers; and(h)any conventions or practices that have been established in the National Assembly by agreement and usage over a period of time.

3. Rules of National Assembly

(1)The Rules of the National Assembly are adopted by resolution of the House in accordance with Section 57 of the Constitution.
(2)The rules remain in force until amended or repealed.
(3)The rules must be strictly adhered to by members.

4. Suspension or supplementing of rules

(1)Any provision of these rules relating to the business or proceedings at a sitting of the House or a mini-plenary session, or of a committee of the House or any other forum of the House, may be suspended by resolution of the House.
(2)The suspension of any provision must be limited in its operation to the particular purpose and period for which such suspension has been approved.
(3)Any motion to adopt or amend any rule or to suspend any provision of these rules requires notice in accordance with Rule 123.
(4)At least one third of the members of the House must be present before a decision may be taken to suspend any provision of these rules but a majority of the members of the House must be present before a decision may be taken to adopt or amend any rule.
(5)The National Assembly may by resolution, subject to these rules, make an order supplementing these rules in accordance with Section 57 of the Constitution; provided that —(a)a standing order of the House remains in force until amended or repealed; and(b)a sessional order of the House, identified as such by the House, remains in force —(i)until the period of its validity, as specified in the order, has expired; or(ii)until the end of the last sitting day of the session within which it was made;provided that a sessional order may be amended or repealed at any time.

5. Non-diminution or non-limitation of rules and orders

No convention or practice may limit or inhibit any provision of these rules or any order of the House.

6. Unforeseen eventualities

(1)The Speaker may give a ruling or frame a rule in respect of any eventuality for which these rules or orders of the House do not provide, having due regard to the procedures, precedents, practices and conventions developed by the House and on the basis of constitutional values and principles underpinning an open, accountable and democratic society.
(2)A rule framed by the Speaker remains in force until the House, based on a recommendation of the Rules Committee, has decided thereon.

7. Directives and guidelines of Rules Committee

(1)The Rules Committee may, in terms of Rule 193, issue directives and lay down guidelines to assist with the implementation of these rules and orders of the House.
(2)Members must comply with any such directives and guidelines.

8. Rulings

(1)The Speaker must perform the functions as provided for in these rules and may make rulings in applying and interpreting these rules, orders of the House and directives and guidelines approved by the Rules Committee.
(2)The Speaker and other presiding officers may make rulings in accordance with Subrule (1) in respect of procedural matters that arise when they are presiding at a sitting of the House or a mini-plenary session.
(3)Members must comply with rulings made by presiding officers.
(4)(a)A member may request that a ruling be referred to the Rules Committee for consideration and report.(b)In considering a ruling referred to it in terms of Subrule (4(a), the Rules Committee must confine itself to the principle underlying, or subject of, the ruling in question.

9. Conventions and practices

(1)Conventions and practices relating to the business of the House and its committees and other forums are established by agreement amongst political parties and parliamentary office-bearers, and may be varied by agreement amongst them and reviewed from time to time as decided by the Rules Committee.
(2)Conventions and practices must be consistent with the provisions of the Constitution, these rules, orders of the House, rulings, and directives and guidelines of the Rules Committee.
(3)Presiding officers may request members’ compliance with established conventions and practices.

10. Contempt

A member who wilfully fails or refuses to obey any rule, order or resolution of the House may be found guilty of contempt of Parliament in terms of the Powers and Privileges Act, 2004.

11. Application to President of the Republic and other non-members

(1)These rules and orders of the House apply, as appropriate, to the President of the Republic as they apply to a Minister.
(2)A reference in these rules and orders of the House to a member or a Minister must, where applicable, be construed as a reference also to the President of the Republic, and to the Deputy President, or a Minister or Deputy Minister who is not a member of the House.

Chapter 2
Proceedings in connection with commencement of term and session

12. Convening notice read

At the commencement of the proceedings of the National Assembly on the first day of its first session, the Secretary or an officer of Parliament nominated by him or her, must read the notice convening the House under Section 51(1) of the Constitution.

13. Oath or affirmation by members

When the convening notice has been read at the commencement of the proceedings of the House on the first day on which it meets after a general election at which members of the House were elected, such members must be sworn in or make affirmation before the Chief Justice or a judge designated by the Chief Justice, in accordance with Section 48 read with Schedule 2 to the Constitution.

14. Election of Speaker and Deputy Speaker

At the first sitting after its election, the National Assembly must, in accordance with Sections 52(1), (2) and (3), read with Schedule 3 to the Constitution, elect one of its members to be the Speaker and thereafter another to be the Deputy Speaker of the House.

15. Election of President of the Republic

At the first sitting, after its election of a Speaker and a Deputy Speaker, the House must in accordance with Sections 86(1) and (2), read with Schedule 3 to the Constitution, elect one of its members as the President of the Republic.

16. Opening of a Parliament

(1)At the commencement of the first session of a Parliament after its election the President must deliver an Opening Address at a date and time to be announced by the Speaker.
(2)The Speaker must thereafter publish the Opening Address in the Minutes of Proceedings and place it on the Order Paper for discussion.

17. Commencement of annual session

The Speaker must inform the House of the date and time on which an annual session of the House will commence, as determined by the Programme Committee in accordance with Rule 210.

18. President’s State of the Nation Address

The Speaker must inform the House of the date and time for the President’s annual State of the Nation Address.

19. State of the Nation Address reported

The Speaker must publish the President’s State of the Nation Address in the Minutes of Proceedings.

20. State of the Nation Address placed on Order Paper

When the President has delivered the State of the Nation Address, the Speaker must place it on the Order Paper of the House for discussion.

Chapter 3
Presiding officers and members

Part 1 – Presiding officers

21. Election of Speaker and Deputy Speaker

(1)(a)Whenever it is necessary to elect a Speaker, the Secretary or an officer of Parliament nominated by him or her, must inform the National Assembly accordingly, whereupon the House must immediately or at a time announced by the Secretary or such officer proceed to the election in terms of Section 52 of the Constitution.(b)The Chief Justice or another judge designated by the Chief Justice presides over the election of the Speaker.
(2)(a)Whenever it is necessary to elect a Deputy Speaker, the Speaker must inform the National Assembly, whereupon the House must immediately or at a time announced by the Speaker proceed to the election in terms of Section 52 of the Constitution.(b)The Speaker presides over the election of a Deputy Speaker.
(3)The member elected must be given the opportunity, from his or her place, to make an acceptance speech.

22. Election of other presiding officers

(1)The House must elect three members as House Chairpersons for the duration of the House.
(2)The Speaker must allocate functions and responsibilities to the House Chairpersons and announce such allocations in the ATC.

23. Officers presiding in the House

The Deputy Speaker or a House Chairperson must preside during a sitting of the House whenever requested to do so by the Speaker.

24. Acting Speaker

(1)Whenever the Speaker is absent or unable to perform the functions of the office of Speaker, or whenever that office is vacant, the Deputy Speaker must act as Speaker.
(2)Whenever both the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker are absent or unable to perform the functions of the office of Speaker, the Speaker or, if the Speaker is not available, the Deputy Speaker, must designate one of the House Chairpersons to act as Speaker.

25. Acting House Chairperson

Whenever the House has been informed of the likelihood of the continued absence of both the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker for longer than seven consecutive parliamentary working days, the House may elect a member to act as House Chairperson while the House Chairperson so designated acts as Speaker, until the Speaker or the Deputy Speaker becomes available or the House decides otherwise.

26. General authority and responsibility of Speaker

(1)In exercising the authority of the Speaker, as provided for in the Constitution and legislation and the rules of Parliament, the Speaker must —(a)ensure that the National Assembly provides a national forum for public consideration of issues, passes legislation and scrutinises and oversees executive action in accordance with Section 42(3) of the Constitution;(b)ensure that parties represented in the National Assembly participate fully in the proceedings of the Assembly and its committees and forums, and facilitate public involvement in the processes of the Assembly in accordance with Sections 57 and 59 of the Constitution; and(c)whenever possible, consult with relevant office-bearers and structures within Parliament to achieve the efficient and effective functioning of Parliament in a transparent and accountable manner.
(2)The Speaker must maintain and preserve the order of and the proper decorum in the House, and uphold the dignity and good name of the House.
(3)The Speaker is responsible for the strict observance of the rules of the House and must decide questions of order and practice in the House, such a ruling being final and binding as provided for in Rule 92.
(4)The Speaker must act fairly and impartially and apply the rules with due regard to ensuring the participation of members of all parties in a manner consistent with democracy.

27. Election of temporary presiding officer to act as Speaker

Whenever the House has been informed that the elected presiding officers are unavoidably absent, the House must immediately elect one of its members to act as Speaker for that day only, the question being put by the Secretary.

28. Removal from office of Speaker or Deputy Speaker

(1)The House may remove the Speaker or Deputy Speaker from office by resolution in terms of Section 52(4) of the Constitution.
(2)A motion for the removal of the Speaker from office must comply, to the satisfaction of the Deputy Speaker, with the prescripts of any relevant law or any relevant rules and orders of the House and directives and guidelines approved by the Rules Committee before being placed on the Order Paper, and must include the grounds on which the proposed removal from office is based.
(3)In respect of a motion for the removal of the Deputy Speaker from office, the Speaker must approve compliance as contemplated in Subrule (2).
(4)The Deputy Speaker or Speaker, as applicable, may request an amendment of or in any other manner deal with a relevant motion that does not comply with the requirements as contemplated in Subrule (2).
(5)The Deputy Speaker or Speaker, as applicable, must accord an approved motion under this rule due priority and, before scheduling it, must consult with the Chief Whip of the Majority Party.
(6)The debate on a motion under this rule may not exceed the time allocated for it by the Deputy Speaker or Speaker, as applicable, after the required consultation.
(7)A majority of the members of the Assembly must be present when the resolution is adopted.

Part 2 – Members

29. Oath or affirmation

Other than immediately after a general election, new members may, in accordance with Item 4(2) of Schedule 2 to the Constitution(a)at a sitting of the House, be announced and conducted to the Table by not more than two members in order to be sworn in or to make affirmation before the presiding officer; or(b)at any time by arrangement be sworn in or make affirmation before the Speaker in the Speaker’s chambers, the Speaker reporting accordingly to the House at the first opportunity.

30. Declaration of private interests

If a member has a personal or private financial or business interest in any matter before a forum of the Assembly of which he or she is a member, he or she must at the commencement of engagement on the matter by the forum immediately declare that interest in accordance with the code of conduct contained in the schedule to the Joint Rules and comply with the other provisions of the code.

31. Raising a question of privilege

(1)A member who wishes to raise a perceived breach of privilege must report it to the Speaker without delay.
(2)If the alleged breach of privilege is in the Speaker’s opinion adequately substantiated and may affect a sitting of the House on the day on which the question of privilege is reported or in the immediate future, the Speaker may, with due regard to the provisions of the Powers and Privileges Act(a)make an immediate ruling on the matter and announce it in the House; or(b)provide the member with an opportunity during the sitting to move an urgent motion without notice in terms of Rules 123(1)(b) and 127.
(3)If the alleged breach of privilege does not directly affect a sitting of the House in the immediate future, the Speaker must refer the matter to the Powers and Privileges Committee and inform the House accordingly, either immediately or at the earliest opportunity.

32. Leader of the Opposition

(1)The leader of the largest opposition party in the Assembly must be recognised as the Leader of the Opposition as contemplated in Section 57(2)(d) of the Constitution.
(2)In the event that two or more opposition parties qualify as the largest opposition party in that they hold an equal number of seats in the House, the leader of the opposition party that obtained the most votes in the election must be recognised as the Leader of the Opposition.

33. Appointment and responsibilities of whips

(1)At the first meeting of the Rules Committee after an election, or as soon as possible thereafter, the Rules Committee must determine the number of whips to be allocated to parties represented in the House.
(2)The Speaker must appoint whips on the recommendation of the leaders of the parties which qualify for whips.
(3)(a)Parties which do not qualify for a whip may jointly request the Speaker to appoint one or more whips from amongst their number to represent their interests, or to alter the appointments previously made under this subrule.(b)In considering such a request, the Speaker must apply guidelines approved by the Rules Committee for that purpose.
(4)The names of the appointed whips must be published in the ATC.
(5)(a)The functions of the whippery are —(i)in general, to be responsible collectively for the maintenance of the proper decorum of the House and the orderly conduct of the business of the House, and(ii)to co-ordinate the business of their parties in Parliament for purposes of facilitating the political management of Parliament.(b)The Chief Whip of the Majority Party and other chief whips must additionally perform the functions prescribed in the rules.(c)The House may approve recommendations by the Rules Committee to provide for any further responsibilities, duties or functions of the parliamentary whippery.

34. Designation of parliamentary counsellors

(1)The Speaker may, on the recommendation of the President and the Deputy President, designate two members as parliamentary counsellors to the President and the Deputy President, respectively.
(2)The parliamentary counsellors must facilitate communication between the National Assembly and the offices of the President and Deputy President, respectively.
(3)The names of the designated parliamentary counsellors must be published in the ATC.

Part 3 – Members’ attendance

35. Members’ attendance

(1)Subject to minimum standards as provided for in these rules, members’ attendance of official parliamentary activities is regulated by their political parties.
(2)A member’s absence from Parliament during a parliamentary session, other than during a formal recess or resulting from the member’s suspension in terms of these rules and orders of the House, must be approved by the member’s political party in Parliament.
(3)A member, or the party whip assigned responsibility for members’ leave by the party, must inform —(a)the party’s duty whip; or(b)the chairperson of a relevant committee,of the member’s approved absence from a sitting of the House or a committee meeting, respectively.
(4)All political parties must —(a)maintain proper leave records for their members in accordance with an attendance policy for members formally approved by Parliament; and(b)annually, within 14 days after the last sitting day of the session, submit the attendance records of their members to the Speaker for publication in the ATC.[See Appendix A for the leave policy approved by the Joint Rules Committee]

36. Absence from sittings of House

(1)The period for which leave may be granted to a member by the member’s party, other than maternity leave and parental/adoption leave as provided for in the approved attendance policy, may not exceed 15 consecutive sitting days in a session.
(2)Leave may be requested of the House by motion for a member’s absence in excess of 15 consecutive sitting days, the leave to be requested not later than by the close of the fifteenth consecutive sitting day of the member’s absence.
(3)The motion presented to the House must state the reasons for the request and the period for which continued leave of absence is sought.
(4)If the motion requesting leave of absence is rejected by the House, the reasons for such rejection must be put to the House by way of a formal amendment to the motion, and the motion as amended must be supplied to the member and the member’s party in Parliament without delay.

37. Sanctions for extended unauthorised absence from sittings of House

(1)A member who absents himself or herself for 15 or more consecutive sitting days of the Assembly without authorisation as provided for in these rules, loses his or her membership of the National Assembly in accordance with Section 47(3)(b) of the Constitution.
(2)The Speaker must without delay inform a member and the member’s party of the member’s loss of his or her membership of the Assembly in terms of this rule.

38. Absence from meetings of committee

(1)A member may not without his or her party’s approval be absent from more than two consecutive meetings of a committee to which the member has been appointed as a full member in terms of the rules.
(2)A member’s approved absence from a meeting of a committee referred to in Subrule (1) must be recorded in the minutes of the meeting as formally adopted by the committee.
(3)The secretary to a committee must without delay send a copy of the formal minutes of each meeting of the committee to the responsible whip of each of the parties represented on the committee.
(4)The Secretary must every three months within a session submit a report to the Speaker on all members who have been absent from three or more consecutive meetings of a committee without approval as recorded in the committee’s minutes.

39. Sanctions for extended unauthorised absence from meetings of committee

(1)A member who is absent from three or more consecutive meetings of a committee referred to in Rule 38(1) without his or her party’s approval may be fined an amount to be determined by the Rules Committee from time to time for each day of absence.
(2)The Speaker must inform the member without delay of the imposition of a fine in terms of this rule.

40. Appeal against application of sanctions

(1)A member who feels aggrieved by the sanction imposed upon him or her in terms of Rule 37 or 39 may lodge a formal appeal with the Speaker within 14 days of being notified of the application of the sanction.
(2)If the Speaker is unable to resolve the appeal on reasonable grounds, the Speaker must refer the appeal to a committee to be determined by the Rules Committee.
(3)The committee must report its findings to the House.
(4)The Speaker must report any sanction imposed or appeal processed in terms of these rules to the House.

Chapter 4
Sittings of Assembly

Part 1 – General

41. Forums for proceedings of National Assembly

(1)Subject to the Constitution and these rules, proceedings of the National Assembly may be conducted at sittings of the House or in mini-plenary sessions of the House.
(2)Subject to Section 59 of the Constitution, sittings of the House and its forums in terms of Subrule (1) must be held in public.

42. Working days and hours of sitting

(1)Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, excluding official public holidays, are parliamentary working days.
(2)Unless otherwise determined by the Programme Committee in accordance with Rule 210, the House may consider business on these days during the following times:(a)Mondays to Thursdays: 14:00, or such later time as the Speaker determines, to adjournment.(b)Fridays: 09:00, or such later time as the Speaker determines, to adjournment.
(3)The Speaker may, in exceptional circumstances, after consultation with the Leader of Government Business and party whips, allow the House to sit on any other day.

43. Change of venue

(1)The Speaker may in an emergency or on grounds of security —(a)in terms of Section 51(3) of the Constitution, after consultation with the Leader of Government Business and the chief whips or party representatives of each party in the House, direct that the National Assembly sit at a place other than the seat of Parliament in Cape Town; and(b)after consultation with the Leader of Government Business and the chief whips or party representatives of each party in the House, direct that a sitting of the House be held, or resumed, in a different chamber within the precincts.
(2)The Assembly may on grounds of public interest or convenience, in terms of Section 51(3) of the Constitution, resolve to sit at a place other than the seat of Parliament in Cape Town, provided that the resolution —(a)identifies the public interest or convenience that is the reason for the change of venue; and(b)approves the change of venue to a specified place and for a specific period.

44. Arrangement of business on Order Paper when no consensus in Programme Committee

(1)If no consensus could be reached in the Programme Committee in accordance with Rule 210 on the programme of business for a particular sitting day or if the Programme Committee has not made a detailed determination for any sitting day, the Chief Whip of the Majority Party must, subject to these rules and particularly any rule providing that the Speaker must exclusively make a specific programming decision, arrange the business of the Assembly on the Order Paper for that day —(a)with the concurrence of the Speaker, and the Leader of Government Business when any government business is prioritised; and(b)after due consideration of the views and directions of the Programme Committee.
(2)The Secretary must, on instruction of the Speaker, draw up the order of business as agreed to in terms of Subrule (1) for each sitting.

Part 2 – Sittings in plenary

45. Quorum required only for taking decisions

The Assembly may proceed with its business irrespective of the number of members present, but may vote on a Bill or decide on any question only if a quorum is present in terms of Rule 96.

46. Opportunity for prayer or meditation

At the commencement of parliamentary business on every sitting day the presiding officer must afford members an opportunity for silent prayer or meditation.

47. Sequence of proceedings

(1)Subject to the Constitution and these rules, and unless altered by resolution of the House, the business on each sitting day of the House must follow the following sequence of events:(a)opportunity for silent prayer or meditation;(b)announcements from the Chair;(c)swearing in of new members;(d)formal motions moved by the Chief Whip;(e)when scheduled by the Programme Committee, opportunity for statements by members and responses to statements by Cabinet members;(f)statements by Cabinet members; and(g)orders of the day and notices of motion on the Order Paper, which must be dealt with in sequence; provided that precedence must be given to questions on question days.
(2)Subject to Subrule (1), and unless altered by resolution of the House, the business on any sitting day of the House may additionally include any event below, after the business under Subrule (1) has been completed and if included during any sitting must follow the following sequence of events:(a)Any other formal motions;(b)motions without notice;(c)notices of motion; and(d)petitions.[Rule 47 amended by the Third Report of National Assembly Rules Committee, 2019]

48. Interruption, suspension or adjournment of proceedings

(1)The presiding officer may interrupt, suspend or adjourn the proceedings of the House.
(2)The presiding officer may in consultation with the Leader of Government Business adjourn the House until a parliamentary working day other than the next scheduled sitting day as determined by the Programme Committee in accordance with Rule 210; provided that during such adjournment the Speaker may accelerate or postpone the date for the resumption of business.

Part 3 – Mini-plenary sessions

49. Business of mini-plenary sessions

(1)The Speaker refers matters for consideration in a mini-plenary session after due consideration of the views and directions of the Programme Committee.
(2)Any matter may be discussed or debated in a mini-plenary session.
(3)No more than three mini-plenary sessions may take place simultaneously.
(4)Mini-plenary sessions are held in the precincts of Parliament, but in special circumstances the Speaker may direct that a mini-plenary session may be held elsewhere.

50. Members attending

(1)A mini-plenary session in respect of a budget vote of a particular department or on a Bill or oversight matter related to that department consists of the members of the corresponding portfolio committee, and all other Assembly members who attend the proceedings of the mini-plenary session.
(2)A mini-plenary session in respect of any matter other than a matter referred to in Subrule (1) consists of all Assembly members who attend the proceedings of the mini-plenary session.

51. Quorum

A mini-plenary session may proceed with its business irrespective of the number of members present.

52. Decisions

(1)No decisions may be taken in a mini-plenary session.
(2)In the event that a decision is required on a budget vote debated in a mini-plenary session, such decision must be deferred to be taken by a plenary session of the House, provided that when the decision is taken in the House(a)no further debate on the matter may be allowed; and(b)declarations of vote must be permitted subject to Rule 108(5).

53. Speakers’ list

(1)A mini-plenary session does not make use of a speakers’ list, except in the event of a debate on a budget vote when a speakers’ list must be used.
(2)In referring a matter for consideration to a mini-plenary session in terms of Rule 49(1), the Speaker must —(a)allocate time for the debate on that matter, including time for participation by the person in charge, provided that if the person in charge is a member of the executive the time allocated to him or her must be determined in consultation with the Leader of Government Business; and(b)set a time limit for speeches by all participating members other than the person in charge.
(3)When a speakers’ list is not used, the presiding officer must, in a balanced manner, allow speakers from all parties to participate in the debate or discussion, subject to any time limit imposed in terms of Subrule (2).
(4)A member may participate in a debate in a mini-plenary session more than once if recognised by the presiding officer.

54. Presiding officer

The Chair of a miniplenary session must be taken by —(a)an elected presiding officer; or(b)any other member,appointed by the Speaker for that purpose.

55. Relief of presiding officer

A member attending a mini-plenary session must take the Chair whenever requested to do so by the presiding officer.

56. Order in meetings and rules of debate

In addition to these rules, the rules generally applicable to plenary sessions of the House are also applicable to the proceedings of a mini-plenary session.

Part 4 – Public access

57. Admission of visitors

(1)The power to admit visitors to the places set apart for them in the Chamber or public galleries of the Chamber or in any other venue in which the House or a mini-plenary session or a committee of the House is meeting, or to regulate or limit any activity, access or movement of visitors whilst within the precincts of Parliament or a venue utilised for parliamentary work, vests in the Speaker, subject to Section 59 of the Constitution.
(2)Unless the Speaker directs otherwise in respect of a particular visitor or group of visitors, all visitors must, in an appropriate manner, be subjected to a security check or screening before entering the precincts of Parliament or the Chamber or any venue utilised for parliamentary work and, if reasonable cause exists, any visitor may at any time while within the precincts of Parliament or a venue utilised for parliamentary work, be subjected to a security check or screening.
(3)If any visitor refuses in any manner whatsoever to comply with the procedures in Subrules (1) and (2), such visitor may be refused access to the precincts of Parliament or any such venue or may be immediately removed from the precincts of Parliament or such venue by the Parliamentary Protection Services, who may in exercising that duty be assisted by members of the security services acting on or in terms of the instruction of the Speaker.
(4)The House may approve an operational manual, as recommended by the Joint Rules Committee, for the use of members of the Parliamentary Protection Services or security services for purposes of exercising this and any other function in terms of the Powers and Privileges Act and these rules.

58. Access for non-members to floor of Chamber

The Speaker may give a non-member access to the floor of the Chamber during a sitting of the House or a mini-plenary session in special circumstances.

59. Conduct of visitors

Visitors admitted in terms of Rule 57 may not disrupt the proceedings in any manner and must adhere to the directives of the presiding officer and members of the Parliamentary Protection Services and the security services.

60. Withdrawal of visitors

The presiding officer may, whenever he or she thinks it reasonable and justifiable in an open and democratic society to do so, order visitors to withdraw from the precincts of the House or a mini-plenary session and the places set apart for them in a Chamber, or from the precincts of Parliament.

61. Serjeant-at-Arms to remove visitors

When instructed by the presiding officer, the Serjeant-at-Arms must remove, or arrange with the Parliamentary Protection Services in terms of Rule 57(3) for the removal of, any person who —(a)without permission is present in that part of the Chamber designated for members only or in another place within the precincts of Parliament or any other venue utilised for parliamentary work which is out of bounds for that person; or(b)disrupts the proceedings of the House or a mini-plenary session or a committee or any other forum of the House or does not withdraw when duly ordered to do so.

62. Invitation to head of state, head of government or other person to address house

(1)The Speaker, after consultation with or at the request of the Leader of Government Business, may invite a head of state or a head of government who is on an official visit to the Republic to address the House.
(2)The National Assembly may by resolution invite any person to address the House.

Chapter 5
Order in public meetings and rules of debate

Part 1 – Order in meetings

63. Freedom of speech

(1)In accordance with Section 58(1)(a) of the Constitution, Cabinet members, Deputy Ministers and members of the National Assembly have freedom of speech in the Assembly and in its committees, subject to its rules and orders.
(2)In accordance with Section 58(1)(b) of the Constitution, Cabinet members, Deputy Ministers and members of the National Assembly are not liable to civil or criminal proceedings, arrest, imprisonment or damages for anything that they have said in, produced before or submitted to the Assembly or any of its committees, or anything revealed as a result of anything that they have said in, produced before or submitted to the Assembly or any of its committees.
(3)The provisions of Subrules (1) and (2) also apply to proceedings in a mini-plenary session and other forums of the Assembly.

64. Conduct of members

Members must at all times accord the presiding officers of the National Assembly and members due respect and conduct themselves with dignity and in accordance with the decorum of the House and are required —(a)to enter or leave the House with decorum;(b)to be seated when the bells stop ringing to mark the start of proceedings;(c)to rise, if possible, when the presiding officer enters the Chamber at the start of proceedings and to remain standing until invited to be seated;(d)not during proceedings to pass between the Chair and the member who is speaking, nor between the Chair and the Table, nor to stand in any of the aisles or cross aisles, nor to cross the floor of the House in front of the benches;(e)not to bring weapons of any kind nor dangerous or threatening articles or objects nor replicas of any such articles or objects into the Chamber, excluding cultural objects with the prior approval of the Speaker;(f)to dress in a manner befitting the dignity and decorum of the House, as may further be provided for in guidelines approved by the Rules Committee; provided that no party symbols may be displayed;(g)not to take photographs or video footage during proceedings, speak on a cellphone, eat, read newspapers or in any other way conduct themselves in a manner not befitting the dignity and decorum of the House; and(h)on adjournment of the House, to rise, if they are able to do so, and remain in their allocated seats until the presiding officer has left the Chair.

65. Members not to converse aloud

Members may not converse aloud during debate.

66. Member not to be interrupted

No member may interrupt another member whilst speaking, except —(a)to call attention to a point of order, subject to Rule 92, or a question of privilege; or(b)at the discretion of the presiding officer, on a point of clarity to request permission to put a question to the member speaking.

67. Precedence of presiding officer

Whenever the presiding officer addresses the House during a debate, any member then speaking or offering to speak must resume his or her seat, and the presiding officer must be heard without interruption.

68. Irrelevance or repetition

The presiding officer may order a member addressing the House to stop speaking if that member, despite warnings from the Chair, persists in irrelevant or repetitive arguments.

69. Grossly disorderly conduct

Members may not engage in grossly disorderly conduct in the House and its forums, including —(a)deliberately creating serious disorder or disruption;(b)in any manner whatsoever physically intervening, preventing, obstructing or hindering the removal of a member from the House who has been ordered to leave the House;(c)repeatedly undermining the authority of the presiding officer or repeatedly refusing to obey rulings of the presiding officer or repeatedly disrespecting and interrupting the presiding officer while the latter is addressing the House;(d)persisting in making serious allegations against a member without adequate substantiation or following the correct procedure;(e)using or threatening violence against a member or other person; or(f)acting in any other way to the serious detriment of the dignity, decorum or orderly procedure of the House.

70. Member ordered to leave Chamber

(1)If the presiding officer is of the opinion that a member is deliberately contravening a provision of these rules, or that a member is disregarding the authority of the Chair, or that a member’s conduct is grossly disorderly, he or she may order the member to leave the Chamber immediately for the remainder of the day’s sitting.
(2)A member ordered to leave the Chamber must immediately withdraw from the precincts of Parliament.

71. Naming or suspension of member

If a presiding officer is of the opinion that a contravention committed in terms of Rule 70 by a member of the House is of so serious a nature that an order to leave the Chamber for the remainder of the day’s sitting is inadequate, the presiding officer may —(a)if he or she is the Speaker, suspend the member for a period provided for in Rule 74 and order him or her to leave the Chamber immediately; or(b)if he or she is not the Speaker, name the member and order him or her to leave the Chamber immediately and not participate in any parliamentary activities until the Speaker, after consultation with the presiding officer, has announced what action is to be taken against the member in terms of these rules, including whether such member will be suspended for a period provided for in Rule 74; provided that the Speaker’s decision must be announced within two working days after the member has been named.

72. Action against member to be announced in House

The action taken against a member by the Speaker under Rule 71(b) must be announced in the House.

73. Removal of member from Chamber and precincts

(1)If a member refuses to leave the Chamber when ordered to do so by the presiding officer in terms of Rule 70 or 71, the presiding officer must instruct the Serjeant-at-Arms to remove the member from the Chamber and the precincts of Parliament forthwith.
(2)If the Serjeant-at-Arms is unable in person to effect the removal of the member, the presiding officer may call upon the Parliamentary Protection Services to assist in removing the member from the Chamber and the precincts of Parliament.
(3)Unless already suspended in terms of Rule 71, a member who is removed from the Chamber in terms of Subrule (2) is thereby immediately automatically suspended for the period applicable as provided for in Rule 74, and may not enter the Chamber or the precincts for the duration of the suspension.
(4)If a member resists attempts to be removed from the Chamber in terms of Subrule (1) or (2), the Serjeant-at-Arms and the Parliamentary Protection Services may use such force as may be reasonably necessary to overcome any resistance.
(5)No member may, in any manner whatsoever, physically intervene in, prevent, obstruct or hinder the removal of a member from the Chamber in terms of these rules.
(6)Any member or members who contravene Subrule (5) may, on the instruction of the presiding officer, also be removed from the Chamber and the precincts of Parliament forthwith.
(7)If proceedings are suspended for the purposes of removing a member or members, all other members must remain seated or resume their seats, unless otherwise directed by the presiding officer.
(8)When entering the Chamber on the instruction of the relevant presiding officer —(a)members of the Parliamentary Protection Services may not be armed; and(b)members of the security services may not be armed, except in extraordinary circumstances in terms of security policy.
(9)Members who have been removed from the Chamber will be escorted off the precincts by Parliamentary Protection Services personnel and will not be allowed to enter the House or precincts of Parliament as the rules prescribe.
(10)If, after having been removed from the Chamber, a member(s) offers resistance to being removed from the precincts, members of the security services may be called upon to assist with such removal.
(11)In the event of violence ensuing in the Chamber as a result of a member(s) resisting removal, the presiding officer may suspend proceedings, and members of the security services may be called upon by the Speaker during such period of suspended proceedings to assist with the removal of members from the Chamber and the precincts of Parliament forthwith in terms of Section 4(1) of the Powers and Privileges Act; provided that the security services may intervene directly anywhere in the precincts and in the Chamber in terms of Section 4(2) of the Act when there is immediate danger to the life or safety of any person or damage to any property.
(12)Whenever a member is physically removed from the Chamber in terms of this rule, the circumstances of such removal must be referred by the Speaker, within 24 hours, for consideration to a subcommittee of the Rules Committee appointed for that purpose.
(13)The House may approve standard operating procedures, recommended by the Rules Committee, for the exercise of this function, in particular in relation to the use of the Parliamentary Protection Services and members of the security services.
(14)For the purposes of this rule, “precincts” excludes the Chamber.

74. Period of suspension

The suspension of a member on the first occasion during a session continues for 5 parliamentary working days, on the second occasion for 10 parliamentary working days, and on any subsequent occasion for 20 parliamentary working days.

75. Expression of regret

(1)A member of the House who has been suspended or named may submit to the Speaker a written expression of regret, and if the Speaker approves such expression of regret, he or she may discharge the suspension or other action taken against the member, or reduce the severity of any such action, and the Speaker must inform the House accordingly.
(2)An expression of regret approved by the Speaker must be recorded in the Minutes of Proceedings.

76. Member to withdraw while his or her conduct is debated

Whenever a charge is made against a member, he or she must, after having been heard from his or her place, withdraw from the Chamber while such charge is being debated.

77. Grave disorder

In the event of grave disorder at a meeting, the presiding officer may adjourn the meeting, or may suspend the proceedings for a period to be stated by him or her.

Part 2 – Rules of debate

78. Member to address Chair

(1)Every member desiring to speak must, if possible, stand while addressing the Chair.
(2)At a sitting in the Chamber of the National Assembly a member may —(a)only speak from the podium during debate and whenever the presiding officer so directs, and at all other times address the Chair from a microphone on the floor of the Chamber; or(b)deliver his or her address in such other manner as the member is physically able to do and agreed to by the presiding officer.
(3)(a)The Speaker and Deputy Speaker must be referred to a “honourable Speaker”, or “honourable Deputy Speaker” or “Mister” or “Madam Speaker” and “Mister” or “Madam Deputy Speaker”, as the case may be, and the other presiding officers must be referred to as “honourable Chairperson”.(b)No name to impugn the dignity or undermine the authority or legitimacy of any presiding officer may be used.

79. Recognition of members to speak

(1)Subject to Rule 78, a member may speak only when recognised by the presiding officer during proceedings of the House.
(2)Subject to Subrule (1), a member may draw the attention of the presiding officer to a point of order or a question of privilege at any time.
(3)In a debate the presiding officer must recognise a member in accordance with a list of members who are to speak in the debate and the times allocated for speeches by members of different parties.

80. Control of microphones in chamber

(1)In the event of a member not showing due respect to the authority of or not obeying an order or ruling or direction of the presiding officer, or acting in a disruptive or grossly disorderly manner in the House, the presiding officer may disable or switch off the microphone being used by such member or order that that be done.
(2)Before proceeding in terms of Subrule (1), the presiding officer must inform the member and the House of the intention to do so.

81. List of speakers and time limits for speeches

(1)Unless otherwise provided in these rules, and subject to Rules 94 and 95, members speak in a debate in accordance with a list of speakers compiled by the Chief Whip in consultation with the whips or party representatives of the other parties represented in the House.
(2)The list of speakers must accommodate all parties represented in the House that wish to participate in the debate.
(3)Members on the list may speak for the time allocated to them on the list, which may not be less than three minutes unless by agreement with the member concerned.
(4)If a list of speakers is incomplete in respect of the identification of members who are to speak in a debate or the time allocated to each, or in the absence of a list of speakers, the Speaker must determine speaking arrangements for the debate in accordance with this rule after consultation with the party whips.
(5)If amendments are proposed to the question before the House at a late stage in a debate, the presiding officer may, at his or her discretion, extend the debate after consultation with the party whips to allow members the opportunity to respond to the amendments.

82. Reference to member in respectful terms

(1)In the House and in mini-plenary sessions members must refer to one another in respectful terms.
(2)Further to Subrule (1), no member may refer to any other member by his or her name only.
(3)No name to impugn the dignity of any member may be used.

83. Member not to read speech

A member must as far as possible refrain from reading his or her speech, but may refresh his or her memory by referring to notes.

84. Unparliamentary or unacceptable language or gestures

No member may use offensive, abusive, insulting, disrespectful, unbecoming or unparliamentary words or language, nor offensive, unbecoming or threatening gestures.

85. Reflections upon members, the President and Ministers or Deputy Ministers who are not members of the Assembly

(1)No member may impute improper motives to any other member, or cast personal reflections upon a member’s integrity or dignity, or verbally abuse a member in any other way.
(2)A member who wishes to bring any improper or unethical conduct on the part of another member to the attention of the House, may do so only by way of a separate substantive motion, comprising a clearly formulated and properly substantiated charge that in the opinion of the Speaker prima facie warrants consideration by the House.
(3)Subrules (1) and (2) apply also to reflections upon the President and Ministers and Deputy Ministers who are not members of the House.

86. Reflections upon decisions or statutes

No member may —(a)for the remainder of the term of the House, reflect upon any decision of the House that directly refers to any specified person, except for the purpose of moving that such decision be amended or rescinded; or(b)reflect upon any statute of the same session, except for the purpose of moving for its amendment or repeal.

87. Reflections upon the House and its proceedings and decisions

No member may reflect in a disrespectful manner upon the House or its forums and committees or upon their proceedings and decisions.

88. Reflections upon judges and certain other holders of public office

No member may reflect upon the competence or integrity of a judge of a superior court, the holder of a public office in a state institution supporting constitutional democracy referred to in section 194 of the Constitution or any other holder of an office (other than a member of the government), whose removal from office is dependent upon a decision of the House, except upon a separate substantive motion in the House presenting clearly formulated and properly substantiated charges.[Rule 88 amended by the Third Report of National Assembly Rules Committee, 2019]

89. Matters sub judice

No member may reflect upon the merits of any matter on which a judicial decision in a court of law is pending.

90. Rule of anticipation

(1)No member may anticipate the discussion of a matter appearing on the Order Paper or agreed upon by the Programme Committee for scheduling.
(2)In determining whether a discussion is out of order on the ground of anticipation, the presiding officer must consider whether it is probable that the matter anticipated will be discussed in the House or at a joint sitting within a reasonable time.

91. Explanations

(1)A member may, with the prior consent of the presiding officer, make an explanation at a time approved by the presiding officer after the conclusion of the debate from which the complaint arises, but only if, during that debate, a material part of the member’s speech has been misquoted or misunderstood; provided that —(a)such explanation must be limited to reading into the record a correction as agreed in principle by the presiding officer, not to exceed three minutes in duration; and(b)no debate is allowed upon such explanation.
(2)A member may also, with the prior consent of the presiding officer, explain matters of a personal nature, but such matters may not be debated, and the member must confine himself or herself strictly to the vindication of his or her own conduct and may not speak for longer than three minutes.

92. Points of order

(1)A member may raise a point of order at any time during the proceedings of the House, in terms of the procedure prescribed in Rule 66, by stating that he or she is rising on a point of order.
(2)A point of order must be confined only to a matter of parliamentary procedure or practice, or a matter relating to unparliamentary conduct, as defined, and must be raised immediately when the alleged breach of order occurs.
(3)(a)The member raising the point of order must commence by quoting the exact rule or standing order, or at least the principle or subject matter, upon which the point of order is based.(b)If the member does not do so, the presiding officer may insist on him or her doing so, and if he or she fails or does not adequately do so, the presiding officer may summarily rule that it does not amount to a point of order or that the matter is out of order.
(4)The presiding officer may, at his or her discretion, allow members to address the presiding officer briefly on a point of order that has been raised.
(5)The presiding officer must give a ruling, and may give his or her ruling or decision on the point of order immediately, or defer the decision to the earliest opportunity thereafter by way of a considered ruling.
(6)No point of order may be raised in response to a considered ruling in terms of Subrule (5).
(7)No other member may raise another point of order before the presiding officer has ruled on the first point of order.
(8)No member may raise a point of order again or a similar point of order, if the presiding officer has ruled that it is not a point of order or that the matter is out of order.
(9)Members may not disrupt proceedings by raising points of order that do not comply with this rule.
(10)When a point of order is raised during debate, the member called to order must resume his or her seat, and after the point of order has been stated to the presiding officer by the member raising it, the member raising the point of order must likewise immediately resume his or her seat when he or she has concluded his or her submission or if the presiding officer asks him or her to do so.
(11)The presiding officer’s ruling on a point of order is final and binding, and may not be challenged or questioned in the House.
(12)(a)A member who is aggrieved by a presiding officer’s ruling on a point of order may subsequently in writing to the Speaker request that the principle or subject matter of the ruling be referred to the Rules Committee.(b)The Rules Committee may deal with the referral in terms of Paragraph (a) as it deems fit, provided that it must confine itself to the principle underlying, or subject matter of, the ruling concerned, and may not in any manner consider the specific ruling which is final and binding.

93. Acting for absent member

If the member in charge of a motion or an order of the day is absent, another member authorised by the absent member may take charge of the motion or order after having timeously notified the presiding officer, where possible.

94. When reply allowed

The member in charge of a motion or an order of the day, including an executive statement, is allowed to reply.

95. Debate closed

A reply to a debate closes the debate.

Chapter 6
Decision of questions

96. Quorum

In terms of Section 53 of the Constitution, except where the Constitution provides otherwise —(a)a majority of the members of the National Assembly must be present before a vote may be taken on a Bill or an amendment to a Bill; and(b)subject to Rule 4, at least one third of the members must be present before a vote may be taken on any other question before the Assembly.

97. Questions to be decided by majority

In terms of Section 53 of the Constitution, except where the Constitution provides otherwise, all questions before the Assembly are decided by a majority of the votes cast.

98. Absence of quorum

(1)If the attention of the presiding officer is called to the absence of the prescribed quorum when a question is put for decision, the presiding officer may suspend the proceedings, postpone the decision of the question or direct that the bells be rung for five minutes, or such longer time as the presiding officer may direct but not exceeding 15 minutes.
(2)If the bells are rung and, after the interval referred to in Subrule (1), there is still no quorum, the presiding officer may suspend the proceedings or postpone the decision of the question.
(3)(a)For the purpose of establishing whether a quorum is present, the presiding officer may, at his or her discretion, utilise the electronic voting system; and(b)all members present in the Chamber when the electronic voting system is used must record their presence as directed by the presiding officer.
(4)The presiding officer must be counted for the purpose of establishing whether a quorum is present.

99. Decision of question postponed

When the debate on a question has been concluded in the House, the presiding officer may postpone the decision of the question.

100. Decision of postponed questions

Whenever it is expedient to do so, the Speaker may after consultation with the Programme Committee in terms of Rule 208 or, if the Programme Committee is not due to meet in time, after consultation with party whips, determine a day for the decision of postponed questions by the House.

101. Decision of questions requiring special majorities

(1)A question requiring a special majority in terms of the Constitution must be decided by voting, whether or not a division is demanded.
(2)(a)In accordance with Section 53(2)(b) of the Constitution, the presiding officer may cast a deliberative vote when a question must be decided with a supporting vote of at least two thirds of the members of the Assembly.(b)Whenever a presiding officer casts a deliberative vote, he or she must inform members accordingly.[See Appendix B for Special Majorities required in terms of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996]

102. Casting of votes

Unless the Constitution provides otherwise, voting takes place in accordance with Rules 103 or 104.

103. Electronic voting system

(1)At a sitting of the House held in a Chamber where an electronic voting system is in operation, unless the presiding officer directs otherwise, questions are decided by the utilisation of such system in accordance with a procedure predetermined by the Speaker and directives as announced by the presiding officer.
(2)Members may vote only from the seats allocated to them individually in the Chamber.
(3)Members vote by pressing the “Yes”, “No” or “Abstain” button on the electronic consoles at their seats when directed by the presiding officer to cast their votes.
(4)A member who is unable to cast his or her vote, must draw this to the attention of the Chair and may in person or through a whip of his or her party inform the Secretary at the Table of his or her vote.
(5)When all members have cast their votes, the presiding officer must immediately announce the result of the division.
(6)Members’ names and votes must be printed in the Minutes of Proceedings.

104. Manual voting procedure

(1)Where no electronic voting system is in operation, a manual voting system may be used in accordance with a procedure predetermined by the Speaker and directives to be announced by the presiding officer.
(2)When members’ votes have been counted, the presiding officer must immediately announce the result of the division.
(3)If the manual voting procedure permits, members’ names and votes must be printed in the Minutes of Proceedings.

105. Postponed question put without further debate

A question referred to in Rules 99 and 100 must be put without further debate.

106. Question put again

If the presiding officer has put a question and it is not heard or understood, he or she must put it again.

107. Question fully put

(1)No member, except a member who is permitted to make a declaration of vote, may speak to any question after it has been fully put by the presiding officer.
(2)A question is deemed to have been fully put when the voices in favour of and against the question have been given.

108. Declaration of vote

(1)Subject to Subrule (4), the presiding officer may at any time after a question has been fully put, if so requested, permit one member of each political party to declare its vote by stating on behalf of his or her party the reasons why the party is in favour of or against the question; provided that in the case of declarations of vote on a committee report, the relevant Minister be given the opportunity to express the executive’s view and for that purpose be allocated the same amount of time as the member of the majority party in terms of Subrule (2).
(2)The time allocated to a member from each party for making a declaration of vote must be determined by the Rules Committee and must take into account the proportional strength of the party in the House.
(3)A member addressing the Chair in terms of Subrule (1) may read out aloud a written formulation of his or her party’s viewpoint, and deliver a signed copy thereof at the Table for inclusion in the Minutes of Proceedings.
(4)No declaration of vote is permitted if the question is put for decision immediately after the debate on the question has been concluded.
(5)When the budget votes in the schedule to the main Appropriation Bill are to be decided upon, declarations of vote, if requested, must be limited to a total time for all the budget votes, as well as proportional time per party, as allocated for that purpose by the Programme Committee in accordance with Rule 210.

109. Recording of opposition

(1)Whenever a question is put by the presiding officer, any member may, instead of demanding a division, inform the presiding officer that he or she wishes his or her opposition, or that of the party to which he or she belongs, to be formally recorded in the Minutes of Proceedings.
(2)The presiding officer may order that a division take place in the event of four or more members wishing to record their individual opposition.

110. Demand for division

After a question has been put and the presiding officer has indicated whether in his or her opinion the voices in favour of or against the question are in the majority, any member may demand a division, whereupon, subject to Rule 111, a division must take place without debate.

111. Fewer than four members supporting demand for division

(1)Whenever a division is demanded, the presiding officer must, before ordering the division bells to be rung, satisfy himself or herself that at least four members support the demand for the division.
(2)If fewer than four members rise in support thereof, the presiding officer must immediately declare the decision on the question.
(3)The names of the members who indicated their support for the division in terms of Subrule (2) must be recorded in the Minutes of Proceedings.

112. Division bells rung and doors barred

(1)If the required number of members support the demand for a division, the division bells must be rung and the doors must be barred as soon after the lapse of five minutes as the presiding officer may direct, but if further divisions are required to dispose of the question and such divisions follow immediately upon the first division, the division bells must again be rung and the doors must be barred as soon after the lapse of 15 seconds as the presiding officer may direct.
(2)When the doors have been barred, no member may enter or leave the Chamber until the result of the division has been declared.

113. Procedure after doors barred

When the doors have been barred and all members are seated, the presiding officer must inform members of the question to be decided and announce that a division has been demanded.

114. Member calling for division to vote against question

A member demanding a division may not leave the Chamber until the result of the division has been declared and in the event that he or she did not vote, his or her vote must be recorded as against the question put by the presiding officer.

115. Members present must vote

(1)Every member present in the Chamber when the question is put with the doors barred must vote or record an abstention; provided that in terms of Section 53(2) of the Constitution the presiding officer has no deliberative vote, but —(a)must cast a deciding vote when there is an equal number of votes on each side of a question; and(b)may cast a deliberative vote when a question must be decided with a supporting vote of at least two thirds of the members of the Assembly.
(2)In accordance with Section 54 of the Constitution, the provisions of Subrule (1) do not apply to the President of the Republic or to a Minister or Deputy Minister who is not a member of the House.

116. Points of order during division

Subject to all other rules relating to the taking of points of order, while a division is in progress, members may only raise points of order directly related to the procedures during the division.

117. Confusion or error concerning division

(1)If in the opinion of the presiding officer there is confusion or error concerning a division, the presiding officer may direct that another division must take place; provided that if in the opinion of the presiding officer the nature of the confusion or the extent of the error does not affect the result of the division, the presiding officer may direct that the numbers be corrected otherwise.
(2)Party whips may, at the request of any affected members, scrutinise the electronic voting results at the Table and under their signature make limited corrections, provided the corrections so made do not affect the result of the division.

118. Correction of minutes

If any member, in writing to the Speaker within 24 hours after the Minutes of Proceedings have been published, reports that his or her vote has been mistakenly altered, as recorded, or if any other error occurs in the voting results as published in the Minutes of Proceedings, the Speaker may order the Minutes of Proceedings to be corrected.

Chapter 7
Motions

Part 1 – General

119. Nature of motions

A member may propose a subject for discussion, or a draft resolution for approval as a resolution of the House, with or without debate.

120. Same question rule

(1)No matter may be proposed for discussion in the House which is the same in substance as a matter that has been discussed in it during the same annual session.
(2)(a)No draft resolution may be moved in the House which is the same in substance as a draft resolution which has been approved, with or without amendments, or rejected by it during the same annual session.(b)The House may amend or rescind such previous resolution.

121. Amendments to draft resolutions generally

(1)Subject to Rule 122, a member may propose an amendment in writing to a draft resolution, provided the amendment does not extend the scope of the draft resolution or is ruled out of order for any other reason by the presiding officer.
(2)When an amendment is moved as provided for in Subrule (1), a signed copy of the proposed amendment must be delivered to the Secretary at the Table without delay.
(3)A proposed amendment to a draft resolution which does not strictly comply with Subrules (1) and (2) and Rule 122 may not be proceeded with in the House.
(4)Proposed amendments to draft resolutions must be put for decision in sequence, with the last amendment being put first and the original motion, with or without amendments, last, unless the presiding officer determines otherwise.

122. Amendments to draft resolutions relating to committee reports

No amendment may be proposed to the content and substance of a committee report tabled for consideration by the House, except in respect of any recommendation made in such report for adoption by the House.

123. Motions without notice

(1)Every motion requires notice, except a draft resolution —(a)by way of amendment to a draft resolution permitted in terms of these rules;(b)raising a question of privilege when approved by the Speaker in terms of Rule 31;(c)for the postponement or discharge of an order of the day, giving precedence to an order of the day scheduled for that day or giving precedence to any other business;(d)referring a Bill to a committee;(e)by the Chief Whip, or any other member with the permission of the presiding officer, proposing a decision on a report of a committee immediately after the debate on the report has been concluded;(f)specially excepted by these rules; or(g)in regard to which notice is dispensed with by all the members present, subject to Subrule (2).
(2)Motions in respect of which notice is dispensed with in terms of Subrule (1)(g) are accommodated according to the following conditions:(a)Members of each party are entitled to move motions without notice, minority parties being given an opportunity to participate in a manner consistent with democracy.(b)The number of motions without notice on any sitting day, the period of time within which such motions must be completed on that day and the sequence of party participation must be determined by the Rules Committee.(c)Motions without notice must be confined to national issues and must comply with the following criteria as are applicable to all motions requiring a decision of the House: Such a motion(i)must be consistent with the Constitution, the law and these rules,(ii)must deal with only one substantive matter,(iii)must consist of a clear and succinct proposed resolution,(iv)may not contain statements, quotations, arguments or other matters not strictly necessary to make the proposed resolution intelligible,(v)may not be the same in substance as a draft resolution that has been approved or rejected during the same session,(vi)may not contain unbecoming or offensive expressions,(vii)may not propose to issue an instruction to the executive,(viii)must observe the principles of co-operative government in accordance with Chapter 3 of the Constitution, and(ix)may in any event not take longer than 90 seconds to read out.(d)Unless the Speaker decides otherwise in a particular case, a member may not be given an opportunity to read out and move a motion without notice in the House unless the following requirements have been met:(i)The member or the member’s party must make the text of the motion available to the Secretary to the National Assembly before 10:00 on the day on which it is to be moved,(ii)the proposed motion must comply with the criteria specified in Paragraph (c),(iii)if the proposed motion complies with the specified criteria, the Secretary to the National Assembly must circulate it to all parties by 11:00 on that day, and(iv)at least five parties including the majority party and the largest minority party have notified the Secretary to the National Assembly at least 30 minutes before the sitting of the House commences that they have no objection to the motion being moved without notice.(e)If a proposed motion is preceded by another motion of the same substance that has already been approved or rejected on the same day, the proposed motion falls away and may not be read out and moved.(f)If a member is not given the opportunity to read out and move the motion without notice in terms of Paragraph (d) or, for whatever reason, during the sequence of party participation the member fails to utilise the opportunity to move a motion without notice, the party to which that member belongs forfeits that opportunity.(g)If a proposed motion without notice as submitted does not comply with the specified criteria, the member or the member’s party must be informed accordingly and the proposed motion without notice may be adjusted and resubmitted as a motion without notice for the next appropriate sitting day or be presented as a notice of motion.
(3)Members may be given an opportunity to move a motion without notice only on a sitting day of the House when motions without notice have been placed on the Order Paper in terms of Rule 44 read with Rule 47.

124. Notices of motion

(1)Members of each party are entitled to give notices of motion when recognised by the presiding officer for that purpose.
(2)The number of notices of motion on any sitting day and the period of time within which such motions must be completed on that day must be determined by the Programme Committee in accordance with Rule 210.
(3)Members must be given an opportunity to give notices of motion only on a sitting day of the House when notices of motion have been placed on the Order Paper in terms of Rule 44 read with Rule 47.
(4)A notice of motion in the form of a draft resolution must —(a)be submitted in writing;(b)deal with a subject within the competence of the National Assembly;(c)be concise;(d)refer to a single substantive matter; and(e)comply with any other rules and orders of the House and relevant guidelines approved by the Rules Committee.
(5)A notice of motion in the form of a proposed subject for discussion must comply with the requirements of Subrule (4) and must additionally be limited to clearly identifying the proposed topic.
(6)When giving notice of a motion, a member must —(a)read it aloud and immediately thereafter deliver at the Table a signed copy of the notice, which may not differ from the notice as read aloud; or(b)deliver to the Secretary a signed copy of the notice on any parliamentary working day for placing on the Order Paper.
(7)Written notices of motion delivered to the Secretary in terms of Subrule (6)(b) after 12:00 on any parliamentary working day may be placed on the Order Paper only after the expiry of 24 hours, unless in a particular case the Speaker directs otherwise.

125. Acting for absent member

A member may give notice of a motion on behalf of an absent member, provided he or she has been authorised to do so by the absent member.

126. Speaker may disallow notices

The Speaker may disallow notices of motion which contravene the rules and orders of the House or directives and guidelines approved by the Rules Committee.

127. Motions on questions of privilege

An urgent motion directly concerning the privileges of the House must take precedence over other motions and orders of the day.

128. Withdrawal and lapsing of motion

(1)A member who has given notice of a motion may withdraw it at any time before being called upon to move it in the House.
(2)Once moved in the House, a motion may only be withdrawn with the unanimous concurrence of all the members present.
(3)A notice of motion on the Order Paper lapses —(a)after a period as determined by the Rules Committee from time to time; or(b)at the end of the day as specified in Rule 351.

Part 2 – Motions of no confidence in terms of section 102 of Constitution

129. Motions of no confidence in terms of section 102 of Constitution

(1)A member may propose that a motion of no confidence in the Cabinet or the President in terms of Section 102 of the Constitution be placed on the Order Paper.
(2)The Speaker must accord such motion of no confidence due priority and before scheduling it must consult with the Leader of Government Business and the Chief Whip.
(3)The motion must comply, to the satisfaction of the Speaker, with the prescripts of any relevant law or any relevant rules and orders of the House and directives and guidelines approved by the Rules Committee, before being placed on the Order Paper, and must include the grounds on which the proposed vote of no confidence is based.
(4)The Speaker may request an amendment of, or in any other manner deal, with a notice of a motion of no confidence which contravenes the law, rules and orders of the House or directives and guidelines approved by the Rules Committee.
(5)After proper consultation and once the Speaker is satisfied that the motion of no confidence complies with the aforementioned prescribed law, rules and orders of the House and directives or guidelines of the Rules Committee, the Speaker must ensure that the motion of no confidence is scheduled, debated and voted on within a reasonable period of time given the programme of the Assembly.
(6)The debate on a motion of no confidence may not exceed the time allocated for it by the Speaker, after aforesaid consultation process.
(7)If a motion of no confidence cannot reasonably be scheduled by the last sitting day of an annual session, it must be scheduled for consideration as soon as possible in the next annual session.
(8)Rules 120, 123 and 127 do not apply to motions of no confidence in terms of this rule.

Part 3 – Procedures to give effect to Section 89 of the Constitution

[Part 3 inserted by the National Assembly Rules Committee Report on Procedures to give effect to section 89 of the Constitution]

Definitions

For the purpose of a section 89(1) enquiry in terms of these rules –“an inability” includes “a permanent or temporary physical or mental condition of the President”;“a serious misconduct” means “unlawful, dishonest or improper behaviour performed by the President in bad faith”;“a serious violation of the Constitution or the law” means “behaviour by the President amounting to an intentional or malicious violation of the Constitution or the law performed in bad faith”; and“Section 89” means Section 89 of the Constitution, 1996.“a section 89 enquiry” means an enquiry initiated by the Assembly to remove the President in terms of section 89 of the Constitution and this rule.[Definitions inserted by the National Assembly Rules Committee Report on Procedures to give effect to section 89 of the Constitution]

Initiation of Section 89 enquiry

129A. Initiation of Section 89 enquiry

(1)Any member of the Assembly may, by way of a substantive notice of motion in terms of Rule 124(6), initiate proceedings for a Section 89 enquiry, provided that –(a)the motion must be limited to a clearly formulated and substantiated charge on the grounds specified in Section 89, which must prima facie show that the President:(i)committed a serious violation of the Constitution or law;(ii)committed a serious misconduct; or(iii)suffers from an inability to perform the functions of office;(b)all evidence relied upon in support of the motion must be attached to the motion;(c)the charge must relate to an action or conduct performed by the President in person; and(d)the motion is consistent with the Constitution, the law and these rules.
(2)For purposes of proceedings to remove the President in terms of Section 89(1)(c), the term “charge” must be understood as the grounds for averring the President’s removal from office.[Rule 129A inserted by the National Assembly Rules Committee Report on Procedures to give effect to section 89 of the Constitution]

129B. Compliance with criteria

Once a member has given notice of a motion to initiate proceedings in a Section 89 enquiry the Speaker may consult the member to ensure the motion is compliant with the criteria set out in Rule 129A.[Rule 129B inserted by the National Assembly Rules Committee Report on Procedures to give effect to section 89 of the Constitution]

129C. Referral of motion

(1)When the motion is in order, the Speaker must immediately refer the motion, and any supporting documentation provided by the member, to the independent panel established for the purposes of considering preliminary Section 89 matters.
(2)The Speaker must inform the Assembly and the President of such referral without delay.[Rule 129C inserted by the National Assembly Rules Committee Report on Procedures to give effect to section 89 of the Constitution]

Independent panel to conduct preliminary inquiry into Section 89 enquiry

129D. Establishment

The Assembly must, if and when required, establish an independent panel to conduct any preliminary inquiry on a motion initiated in a Section 89 enquiry.[Rule 129D inserted by the National Assembly Rules Committee Report on Procedures to give effect to section 89 of the Constitution]

129E. Composition and appointment

(1)The panel consists of three fit and proper, competent, experienced and respected South Africans, which may include a judge, and who collectively possess the necessary legal competence and experience.
(2)The Speaker must appoint the panel, after giving political parties represented in the National Assembly reasonable opportunity to put forward nominees for consideration for the panel, and after the Speaker has given due consideration to all persons so nominated.
(3)If a judge is to be appointed to the panel, the Speaker must do so in consultation with the Chief Justice.[Rule 129E inserted by the National Assembly Rules Committee Report on Procedures to give effect to section 89 of the Constitution]

129F. Chairperson

The Speaker must appoint one of the panellists as chairperson of the panel.[Rule 129F inserted by the National Assembly Rules Committee Report on Procedures to give effect to section 89 of the Constitution]

129G. Functions and powers

(1)The panel –(a)must be independent and subject only to the Constitution, the law and these rules, which it must apply impartially and without fear, favour or prejudice;(b)must consider any preliminary enquiry relating to a motion proposing a Section 89 enquiry, referred to it by the Speaker, and must make a recommendation to the Speaker, within 30 days, whether sufficient evidence exists to show that the President:(i)committed a serious violation of the Constitution or law;(ii)committed a serious misconduct; or(iii)suffers from an inability to perform the functions of office; and(c)in considering the matter –(i)may, in its sole discretion, afford any member an opportunity to place relevant written or recorded information before it within a specific timeframe;(ii)must provide the President immediately with copies of all information available to the panel relating to the inquiry;(iii)must provide the President with a reasonable opportunity to respond, in writing, to all relevant allegations against him or her;(iv)must not hold an oral hearing and must limit its enquiry to the relevant written and recorded information placed before it by members in terms of this rule; and(v)must in its report include any findings, including the reasons for such findings, upon which its recommendation is based and any minority view of any panellist must be contained in its report.
(2)The panel may determine its own working arrangements strictly within the parameters of the procedures provided for in this rule.[Rule 129G inserted by the National Assembly Rules Committee Report on Procedures to give effect to section 89 of the Constitution]

129H. Quorum

The panel may proceed with its business when three panellists are present and remain present.[Rule 129H inserted by the National Assembly Rules Committee Report on Procedures to give effect to section 89 of the Constitution]

129I. Consideration and referral of panel report

(1)Once the panel has reported the Speaker must schedule the report for consideration by the Assembly, with due urgency, given the programme of the Assembly.
(2)The President must be informed of the scheduling and any decision on the report.
(3)In the event the Assembly resolves that a Section 89(1) enquiry be proceeded with, the matter must be referred to the Impeachment Committee established by this rule for that purpose.[Rule 129I inserted by the National Assembly Rules Committee Report on Procedures to give effect to section 89 of the Constitution]

Impeachment committee for Section 89 Enquiry

129J. Establishment

There is an Impeachment Committee to consider motions in terms of a Section 89 enquiry, referred to it in terms of Rule 129I(3) above.[Rule 129J inserted by the National Assembly Rules Committee Report on Procedures to give effect to section 89 of the Constitution]

129K. Composition and appointment

(1)The committee consists of the number of Assembly members that the Speaker may determine, subject to the provisions of Rule 154, provided that all parties in the Assembly must be represented.
(2)Notwithstanding Rule 155(2), the members of the committee must be appointed as and when necessary.[Rule 129K inserted by the National Assembly Rules Committee Report on Procedures to give effect to section 89 of the Constitution]

129L. Chairperson

The Committee must elect one of its members as Chairperson.[Rule 129L inserted by the National Assembly Rules Committee Report on Procedures to give effect to section 89 of the Constitution]

129M. Functions and powers of committee

(1)The committee must when the Assembly has approved the recommendation from the Panel to proceed with a Section 89 Enquiry, proceed to establish the veracity and, where required, the seriousness of the charges and report to the Assembly thereon.
(2)The committee must ensure that the enquiry is conducted in a reasonable and procedurally fair manner, within a reasonable timeframe.
(3)The committee must afford the President the right to be heard in his or her own defence and to be assisted by a legal practitioner or other expert of his or her choice.
(4)For the purposes of performing its functions, the committee has all the powers applicable to Parliamentary committees as provided for in the Constitution, applicable law and the Rules of the Assembly.[Rule 129M inserted by the National Assembly Rules Committee Report on Procedures to give effect to section 89 of the Constitution]

129N. Decisions

A question before the committee is decided when a quorum in terms of Rule 162(2) is present and there is agreement among the majority of the members present, provided that, when the Committee reports, all views, including minority views, expressed in the Committee must be included in its report.[Rule 129N inserted by the National Assembly Rules Committee Report on Procedures to give effect to section 89 of the Constitution]

129O. Consideration of report

(1)Once the committee has concluded the enquiry, it must report to the Assembly forthwith.
(2)The report of the committee must contain findings and recommendations including the reasons for such.
(3)The report must be scheduled for consideration and debate by the Assembly, with due urgency, given the programme of the Assembly.
(4)If the report recommends that the President be removed from office, the question must be put to the Assembly directly for a vote in terms of the rules and if the question is supported by at least two thirds of the members of the Assembly, the President is thereby removed from office with immediate effect.[Rule 129O inserted by the National Assembly Rules Committee Report on Procedures to give effect to section 89 of the Constitution]

General

129P. Recommendations are not binding

(1)The Assembly will make the final and binding decision relating to any matter dealt with in this Rule.
(2)Any recommendation made by the independent panel or the impeachment committee or any decision made by the Speaker in terms of this Rule is not final and binding on the Assembly, including on any decision the Assembly intends to make in terms of this Rule.[Rule 129P inserted by the National Assembly Rules Committee Report on Procedures to give effect to section 89 of the Constitution]

129Q. Benefits of the President

If the President is removed from office, the benefits of the President must strictly be dealt with in terms of the relevant provisions of the Constitution.[Rule 129Q inserted by the National Assembly Rules Committee Report on Procedures to give effect to section 89 of the Constitution][Part 3 inserted by the National Assembly Rules Committee Report on Procedures to give effect to section 89 of the Constitution]

Part 4 – Removal from office of a holder of a public office in a state institution supporting constitutional democracy

[Part 4 inserted by the Third Report of National Assembly Rules Committee, 2019]

Definitions

For the purposes of Part 4 -“holder of a public office” means a person appointed in terms of Chapter 9 of the Constitution;“incapacity” includes —(a)a permanent or temporary condition that impairs a holder of a public office’s ability to perform his or her work; and(b)any legal impediment to employment;“incompetence” in relation to a holder of a public office, includes a demonstrated and sustained lack of —(a)knowledge to carry out; and(b)ability or skill to perform,his or her duties effectively and efficiently;member of a commission” means a member of a commission established under Chapter 9 of the Constitution;misconduct” means the intentional or gross negligent failure to meet the standard of behaviour or conduct expected of a holder of a public office; and“section 194 enquiry” means an enquiry by the Assembly to remove a holder of a public office in terms of section 194 of the Constitution and these rules.[Definitions inserted by the Third Report of National Assembly Rules Committee, 2019]

Initiation of section 194 enquiry

129R. Initiation of section 194 enquiry

(1)Any member of the Assembly may, by way of a notice of a substantive motion in terms of Rule 124(6), initiate proceedings for a section 194(1) enquiry, provided that –(a)the motion must be limited to a clearly formulated and substantiated charge on the grounds specified in section 194, which must prima facie show that the holder of a public office:(i)committed misconduct;(ii)is incapacitated; or(iii)is incompetent;(b)the charge must relate to an action performed or conduct ascribed to the holder of a public office in person;(c)all evidence relied upon in support of the motion must be attached to the motion; and(d)the motion is consistent with the Constitution, the law and these rules.
(2)For purposes of proceedings in terms of section 194(1), the term “charge” must be understood as the grounds for averring the removal from office of the holder of a public office.[Rule 129R inserted by the Third Report of National Assembly Rules Committee, 2019]

129S. Compliance with criteria

Once a member has given notice of a motion to initiate proceedings in a section 194 enquiry, the Speaker may consult the member to ensure the motion is compliant with the criteria set out in this rule.[Rule 129S inserted by the Third Report of National Assembly Rules Committee, 2019]

129T. Referral of motion

When the motion is in order, the Speaker must –(a)immediately refer the motion, and any supporting documentation provided by the member, to an independent panel appointed by the Speaker for a preliminary assessment of the matter; and(b)inform the Assembly and the President of such referral without delay.[Rule 129T inserted by the Third Report of National Assembly Rules Committee, 2019]

Independent panel to conduct preliminary assessment into section 194 enquiry

129U. Establishment

The Speaker must, when required, establish an independent panel to conduct any preliminary inquiry on a motion initiated in a section 194 enquiry.[Rule 129U inserted by the Third Report of National Assembly Rules Committee, 2019]

129V. Composition and appointment

(1)The panel must consist of three fit and proper South African citizens, which may include a judge, and who collectively possess the necessary legal and other competencies and experience to conduct such an assessment.
(2)The Speaker must appoint the panel after giving political parties represented in the Assembly a reasonable opportunity to put forward nominees for consideration for the panel, and after the Speaker has given due consideration to all persons so nominated.
(3)If a judge is appointed to the panel, the Speaker must do so in consultation with the Chief Justice.[Rule 129V inserted by the Third Report of National Assembly Rules Committee, 2019]

129W. Chairperson

The Speaker must appoint one of the panellists as chairperson of the panel.[Rule 129W inserted by the Third Report of National Assembly Rules Committee, 2019]

129X. Functions and powers of the panel

(1)The panel –(a)must be independent and subject only to the Constitution, the law and these rules, which it must apply impartially and without fear, favour or prejudice;(b)must, within 30 days of its appointment, conduct and finalise a preliminary assessment relating to the motion proposing a section 194 enquiry to determine whether there is prima facie evidence to show that the holder of a public office –(i)committed misconduct;(ii)is incapacitated; or(iii)is incompetent; and(c)in considering the matter –(i)may, in its sole discretion, afford any member an opportunity to place relevant written or recorded information before it within a specific timeframe;(ii)must without delay provide the holder of a public office with copies of all information available to the panel relating to the assessment;(iii)must provide the holder of a public office with a reasonable opportunity to respond, in writing, to all relevant allegations against him or her;(iv)must not hold oral hearings and must limit its assessment to the relevant written and recorded information placed before it by members, or by the holder of a public office, in terms of this rule; and(v)must include in its report any recommendations, including the reasons for such recommendations, as well as any minority view of any panellist.
(2)The panel may determine its own working arrangements strictly within the parameters of the procedures provided for in this rule.[Rule 129X inserted by the Third Report of National Assembly Rules Committee, 2019]

129Y. Quorum

The panel may proceed with its business when the chairperson and one other panellist is present.[Rule 129Y inserted by the Third Report of National Assembly Rules Committee, 2019]

129Z. Consideration of panel recommendations

(1)Once the panel has made its recommendations the Speaker must schedule the recommendations for consideration by the Assembly, with due urgency, given the programme of the Assembly.
(2)In the event the Assembly resolves that a section 194 enquiry be proceeded with, the matter must be referred to a committee for a formal enquiry.
(3)The Speaker must inform the President of any action or decision emanating from the recommendations.[Rule 129Z inserted by the Third Report of National Assembly Rules Committee, 2019]

Committee for section 194 enquiry

129AA. Establishment

There is a committee to consider motions initiated in terms of section 194 and referred to it.[Rule 129AA inserted by the Third Report of National Assembly Rules Committee, 2019]

129AB. Composition and appointment

(1)The committee consists of the number of Assembly members that the Speaker may determine, subject to the provisions of Rule 154.
(2)Notwithstanding Rule 155(2), the members of the committee must be appointed as and when necessary.[Rule 129AB inserted by the Third Report of National Assembly Rules Committee, 2019]

129AC. Chairperson

The committee must elect one of its members as chairperson.[Rule 129AC inserted by the Third Report of National Assembly Rules Committee, 2019]

129AD. Functions and powers of the committee

(1)The committee must, when the Assembly has approved the recommendations of the independent panel in terms of Rule 129Z proceed to conduct an enquiry and establish the veracity of the charges and report to the Assembly thereon.
(2)The committee must ensure that the enquiry is conducted in a reasonable and procedurally fair manner, within a reasonable timeframe.
(3)The committee must afford the holder of a public office the right to be heard in his or her own defence and to be assisted by a legal practitioner or other expert of his or her choice, provided that the legal practitioner or other expert may not participate in the committee.
(4)For the purposes of performing its functions, the committee has all the powers applicable to parliamentary committees as provided for in the Constitution, applicable law and these rules.[Rule 129AD inserted by the Third Report of National Assembly Rules Committee, 2019]

129AE. Decisions

A question before the committee is decided when a quorum in terms of Rule 162(2) is present and there is agreement among the majority of the members present, provided that, when the committee reports, all views, including minority views, expressed in the committee must be included in its report.[Rule 129AE inserted by the Third Report of National Assembly Rules Committee, 2019]

129AF. Report to the National Assembly

The report of the committee must contain findings and recommendations including the reasons for such findings and recommendations.

(1)The report must be scheduled for consideration and debate by the Assembly, with due urgency, given the programme of the Assembly.
(2)If the report recommends that the holder of a public office be removed from office, the question must be put to the Assembly directly for a vote in terms of the rules, and if the required majority of the members support the question, the Assembly must convey the decision to the President.[Rule 129AF inserted by the Third Report of National Assembly Rules Committee, 2019][Part 4 inserted by the Third Report of National Assembly Rules Committee, 2019]

Chapter 8
Discussion of urgent matters of national public importance

130. Urgent matter of national public importance

(1)A private member may request the Speaker in writing to schedule without delay an urgent matter of national public importance for discussion by the House.
(2)In submitting the request, the member must motivate why the matter is of so urgent a nature that it should be dealt with in terms of this rule.
(3)In granting such a request, depending on the urgency of the matter, the Speaker may at his or her discretion —(a)if, on a sitting day, the request is received at least by midday, schedule the discussion for the same day;(b)if the House is not programmed to meet at an early date that will accommodate the urgency of the matter, convene a special sitting of the House for the discussion; or(c)schedule the matter for discussion at the earliest opportunity.
(4)If the Speaker grants the request, he or she must without delay inform the House, the Leader of Government Business and the responsible Minister of the date and time set for the discussion.
(5)Such a discussion may not exceed the time allocated for it by the Speaker, after consultation with the Leader of Government Business and the Chief Whip.
(6)In the absence of the responsible Minister, any other member of the executive may respond to the discussion on that Minister’s behalf; provided that, at the Speaker’s discretion, the discussion may proceed even if no member of the executive is available to respond.
(7)There may only be one discussion in terms of this rule on a sitting day, and if the Speaker receives more than one request, he or she must decide which matter is more urgent or important.
(8)In exercising his or her discretion, the Speaker must apply the following criteria:(a)Matters already discussed by the House during the same annual session may not be discussed under this rule;(b)the matter must be raised at the earliest opportunity;(c)the matter must be —(i)of so serious a nature that it requires urgent attention, or(ii)of sufficient immediate public importance to warrant it taking precedence over other programmed business;(d)the request must deal with a matter of national importance for which the government can be held responsible, or that falls within the scope of ministerial action;(e)the subject must relate to a specific matter of recent occurrence, and not to a general state of affairs or to a matter of policy;(f)the matter must be defined and specific;(g)the request must deal with only one substantive matter;(h)the request will not be granted if the matter can be considered by some other means in the near future; and(i)the sub judice rule (Rule 89) applies to such a discussion.

131. Withdrawal of scheduled discussion on matter of urgent public importance

The member who requested the discussion may request the Speaker to withdraw the scheduled discussion, provided that sufficient notice of such withdrawal is given.

Chapter 9
Members’ statements and executive statements

132. Statements by members

(1)A member, other than the Deputy President, a Minister or a Deputy Minister, may be recognised by the presiding officer to make a statement on any matter for not more than one and a half minutes.
(2)Members of each party are entitled to make a number of statements, minority parties being given an opportunity to participate in a manner consistent with democracy.
(3)If a member, for whatever reason, during the sequence of proceedings, fails to utilise the opportunity to make a statement, the party to which that member belongs forfeits that opportunity.
(4)The number of members’ statements on any sitting day, the period of time within which such statements must be completed on that day and the sequence of party participation must be determined by the Rules Committee.
(5)At the conclusion of statements by members, a Minister or Deputy Minister present may be given an opportunity to respond, for not more than three minutes, to any statement.[Subrule (5) amended by the Third Report of National Assembly Rules Committee, 2019]
(6)The number of permissible ministerial responses to members’ statements must be determined by the Rules Committee.[The number of permissible ministerial responses to members’ statements was determined at seven ministerial responses by the Third Report of National Assembly Rules Committee, 2019]
(7)Statements are only taken on any sitting day when placed on the Order Paper in terms of Rule 44 read with Rule 47.
(8)The rules of debate apply to members’ statements and ministerial responses.

133. Executive statements

(1)A Cabinet member may request the Speaker for an opportunity for that Cabinet member or the relevant Deputy Minister on behalf of that Cabinet member to make a factual or policy statement relating to government policy, any executive action or other similar matter of which the House should be informed.
(2)The time allotted to a Cabinet member making an executive statement in terms of Subrule (1), including any reply to party responses in terms of Subrule (7), may not exceed 20 minutes, except with the consent of the House.
(3)Whenever reasonably possible, a copy of an executive statement must be delivered to the leader of each party, or that leader’s representative, at or before the time the statement is made in the House.
(4)After any executive statement has been made, the Cabinet member concerned may table relevant supporting papers.
(5)Following any executive statement, a member or members of each of the parties represented in the House may comment on the executive statement, the time allocated to each party for that purpose and the sequence for party comments to be determined by the Rules Committee.
(6)Party responses as envisaged in Subrule (5) may be postponed by agreement between the majority of parties represented in the House or by motion without notice in the House to a later date as determined by the Programme Committee in accordance with Rule 210.
(7)At the conclusion of party responses, the responsible Cabinet member or Deputy Minister must, subject to Subrule (2), be given an opportunity to reply.

Chapter 10
Questions

Part 1 – General

134. Notice and placing of questions

(1)Except as otherwise provided in these rules or with the prior consent of the Speaker —(a)notice must be given of each question by placing it on the Question Paper; and(b)no question for oral reply may be asked on the day on which notice thereof is given.
(2)(a)A member may give notice of a question on any working day in accordance with these rules.(b)A member who wants to give notice of a question must deliver to the Speaker, for placement on the Question Paper(i)a signed copy of the notice, or(ii)an electronic copy of the notice, which must be accompanied by the member’s electronic signature or originate from the member’s email address, indicating the day on which the question will be put.(c)A whip or representative of the member’s party designated by the party may submit a notice in terms of Subrule (2)(a) on behalf of the member.
(3)Questions delivered to the Speaker before 12:00 on any working day in terms of Subrule (2) may appear on the Question Paper only after the expiry of 24 hours.
(4)Subject to these rules and any guidelines that may be approved by the Rules Committee, and in particular Rules 137(7) and 140, questions must be placed on the Question Paper in the order in which they are received.
(5)(a)No question may be addressed to any person other than a member of the Cabinet; and(b)questions must relate to matters for which Cabinet members are officially responsible.
(6)If a notice of a question is not consistent with these rules or any guidelines that may be approved by the Rules Committee, the Speaker may either amend the question or return it to the member who submitted it.

135. Lapsing of questions

All questions on the Question Paper on the last sitting day of an annual session lapse 20 working days after the last sitting day.

136. Monitoring replies to questions

(1)The Speaker must in consultation with the Rules Committee establish a system to monitor and report regularly to the House on questions that have been endorsed as unanswered on the Question Paper in terms of Rules 143(2), 144(5) and 146(3).
(2)The Leader of Government Business must be informed of any steps taken in respect of any member of the executive in giving effect to the monitoring of replies and the application of Rules 143 to 146.

Part 2 – Questions for oral reply

137. Form and arrangement of questions

(1)A member who wants an oral reply to a question must write the words “for oral reply” on the copy of the notice of the question delivered to the Speaker in terms of Rule 134(2).
(2)A question for oral reply must be concise and may not contain more than two subdivisions.
(3)If the Speaker is of the opinion that a question comprises matters of a substantively statistical nature, the Speaker may direct that the question be placed on the Question Paper for written reply.
(4)Questions for oral reply are limited to two questions per member per question day.
(5)(a)The restrictions imposed by Subrule (4) and by Rules 138(7), 139(3) and 140(3) do not apply to questions —(i)approved as urgent questions in terms of Rule 141,(ii)standing over in terms of Rule 144(1) or (3), or(iii)transferred from written to oral reply in terms of Rule 146.(b)If a question referred to in Paragraphs (a)(i) to (iii) is included on a Question Paper for a particular day, an additional 30 minutes must be added to the question time for that day.
(6)A question that is submitted for oral reply must be placed on the Question Paper for reply at least six working days prior to the question day on which it is to be replied to.
(7)An authorised representative of a party may before 12:00 on the day after questions for a particular question day appear on the Question Paper for the first time, notify the Speaker in writing of the order in which questions put by members of that party are to be placed on the Question Paper.
(8)Questions that cannot be placed on the Question Paper for oral reply because of quotas must be placed as questions for written reply.
(9)The sequence of questions on the Question Paper rotates without interruption for the duration of an annual session according to the order in which members of the respective parties may put questions, such order being determined by the Rules Committee from time to time.
(10)(a)If the member in whose name a question appears on the Question Paper is absent on the day when the question is to be replied to, another member authorised by the absent member may take charge of the question after having timeously notified the presiding officer, where possible.(b)If another member has not been authorised to take charge of a question as contemplated in Paragraph (a), the relevant member of the executive must still reply to the question after which, notwithstanding Rule 142(5), the presiding officer permits four supplementary questions, each of one minute’s duration.

138. Questions to Ministers

(1)Questions for oral reply by Ministers must be dealt with in accordance with a clustered system of government portfolios, as determined by the Rules Committee from time to time and published in the ATC.
(2)The clusters rotate on a weekly basis, so that, subject to Subrules (5) and (6), questions relating to each cluster are answered in succession in accordance with the agreed system.
(3)A Minister may authorise his or her Deputy Minister to reply to a question directed at that Minister, provided the Deputy Minister is able also to respond competently to any permissible supplementary questions that may be asked.
(4)If a Minister and his or her Deputy Minister are absent on a day when questions relating to the relevant Ministry are to be answered, the Minister may authorise another Cabinet member to reply to a question directed at that Minister, provided the Cabinet member so authorised is able also to respond competently to any permissible supplementary questions that may be asked.
(5)If a Minister is absent on a day when a question relating to the relevant cluster is called and the question is not answered by the Deputy Minister concerned or another Cabinet member in accordance with Subrules (3) and (4), the Speaker may, if requested to do so by the member in whose name the question to that Minister stands, and after consultation with the Leader of Government Business, direct that —(a)such question to that Minister be placed on the Question Paper for the first question session for Ministers following that day; and(b)an additional 30 minutes be added to the question time for that session.
(6)Questions to Ministers must not be scheduled for a day on which the President is scheduled to answer questions in the Assembly.
(7)The number of questions to a Minister is limited to 10 questions per question day in respect of any one department of state.
(8)Where the order in which questions are put to Ministers according to Rule 137(9) is interrupted at the end of a question session, the next question session to Ministers starts from the point where the order was so interrupted.

139. Questions to Deputy President

(1)Questions to the Deputy President must be scheduled by the Programme Committee in accordance with Rule 210 for a question day once per month during session time in accordance with the annual programme of the Assembly, outside of the question time for Ministers; provided that —(a)questions to the Deputy President may not be scheduled for any week in which questions to the President are scheduled; and(b)the Programme Committee must further determine which months qualify as months during session time within the annual programme for purposes of this rule.
(2)Questions to the Deputy President must be limited to matters of national and international importance, as assigned to him or her by the President.
(3)The number of questions to the Deputy President is limited to six questions per question day.
(4)The total time allowed for replies to questions and associated supplementary questions under this rule is limited to a maximum of three hours.
(5)Where the order in which questions are put to the Deputy President according to Rule 137(9) is interrupted at the end of a question session to the Deputy President, the next question session to the Deputy President starts from the point where the order was so interrupted.
(6)Questions to the Deputy President must be submitted to the Speaker at least 16 calendar days before the question day on which they are to be answered, for the Speaker’s approval as complying with these rules and the guidelines determined by the Rules Committee.

140. Questions to President

(1)Questions to the President must be —(a)scheduled in accordance with Rule 210 for a question day at least once per quarter during session time within the annual programme; and(b)limited to matters of national and international importance.
(2)Questions to the President must be submitted to the Speaker at least 16 calendar days before the question day on which they are to be answered, for the Speaker’s approval as complying with these rules and the guidelines determined by the Rules Committee.
(3)The number of questions to the President is limited to six questions per question day.
(4)The total time allowed for replies to questions and associated supplementary questions under this rule is limited to a maximum of three hours.
(5)Where the party sequence in which questions are put to the President according to Rule 137(9) is interrupted at the end of a question session, the next question session to the President starts from the point where the sequence was so interrupted.

141. Urgent questions

(1)A member may request the Speaker in writing to allow an urgent question for oral reply to be put to —(a)the relevant Minister at the next question session for Ministers in the House, regardless of whether that Minister falls within the ministerial cluster for that day; or(b)the President or the Deputy President on the next applicable question day.
(2)A member who wants to put an urgent question in terms of Subrule (1) must deliver a signed copy of the question to the Speaker before 12:00 on the day preceding the question day on which the question is to be answered, clearly indicating that it is an urgent question.
(3)In submitting the request, the member must motivate why the question is so urgent that it must be dealt with in terms of this rule.
(4)The Speaker must consult the Leader of Government Business before approving an urgent question.
(5)An approved urgent question takes precedence over all other questions on the relevant question day.

142. Times allotted and time limits

(1)Questions for oral reply have precedence on Wednesdays, unless the Programme Committee determines otherwise in accordance with Rule 210.
(2)The time allotted for questions is three hours.
(3)The reply to a question is limited to four minutes, but if the presiding officer is of the opinion that the matter is of sufficient importance, an additional two minutes may be allowed.
(4)In respect of each question, four supplementary questions may be asked, the member in whose name a question stands or who takes charge of a question in terms of Rule 137(10) being given the first opportunity to ask a supplementary question.
(5)A member who asks a supplementary question may make a statement or express an opinion, but the time allowed for the first supplementary question is limited to two minutes and for subsequent supplementary questions one minute.
(6)A supplementary question must arise directly from the original question and the reply given thereto and may not constitute a new question.
(7)A supplementary question may not consist of more than one question.
(8)The reply to a supplementary question is limited to two minutes.
(9)The provisions of Subrules (1), (2), (3) and (8) do not apply to questions to the Deputy President and the President.

143. Unanswered questions for oral reply

(1)Replies to questions for oral reply which have not been reached at the end of the time allotted on a question day must be submitted in writing to the Speaker on the same day for appropriate distribution and inclusion in the Official Report of the Debates of the Assembly.
(2)If a reply to such a question is not received by the Speaker on the question day concerned, the question must be regarded as unanswered and the question must be endorsed on the Question Paper to that effect.

144. Questions for oral reply standing over

(1)A question for oral reply must stand over if the Minister to whom it is addressed —(a)so requests, either in the Assembly when the question is called for reply, or by notice in writing to the Speaker before the start of question time on the day for which it is on the Question Paper; or(b)is not present in the Assembly when the question is called for reply and the question is not replied to by the relevant Deputy Minister or another Cabinet member on his or her behalf in terms of Rule 138(3).
(2)Subject to a direction by the Speaker under Rule 138(5), a question that stands over in terms of Subrule (1) must be —(a)placed on the Question Paper for reply on the next question day on which the relevant Minister is scheduled to reply to questions; and(b)published at the end of the Question Paper, but may be prioritised in terms of Rule 137(7); provided that if more than one question is to be so published, the questions must be published in the order in which they previously appeared.
(3)A question for oral reply may not stand over more than once and is regarded as unanswered, unless the relevant Minister offers a valid reason —(a)in the Assembly for requesting that it stand over again, when the question is called for reply; or(b)in writing to the Speaker for being absent from the House on the question day for which it has been set down in terms of Subrule (2);or the Speaker determines otherwise.
(4)If a question stands over again in terms of Subrule (3), the member in whose name the question stands may again request the Speaker that the question be placed on the Question Paper for the first question session for Ministers following that day in terms of Rule 138(5).
(5)If a question standing over is not answered, either orally or in terms of Rule 143(1), the Question Paper must be endorsed to the effect that the question has not been replied to.

Part 3 – Questions for written reply

145. Form and placing of questions

(1)A question for written reply may be placed on the Question Paper for any working day.
(2)A question for written reply may not contain more than 10 subdivisions.
(3)Questions for written reply are limited to three questions per member per week.
(4)The restriction imposed by Subrule (3) does not apply to questions referred to in Rule 137(8).
(5)(a)A question for written reply must be replied to within 10 working days, provided that the responsible Minister may in writing request the Speaker for an extension not exceeding a further 10 working days on good cause shown.(b)If the Speaker approves a request for an extension in terms of Paragraph (a), the member in whose name the question stands must be informed accordingly and the extension must be recorded on the Question Paper.

146. Written reply not given

(1)If the responsible Cabinet member has not replied in writing to a question within 10 working days of the day for which the question was set down for written reply or within the period of an extension approved by the Speaker in terms of Rule 145(5), and the member in whose name the question stands, or who takes charge of a question in terms of Rule 137(10), so requests, the Speaker must place the question on the Question Paper for oral reply.
(2)If a reply to a question placed on the Question Paper for oral reply in terms of Subrule (1) is submitted in writing to the Speaker not later than 12:00 on the question day on which it is to be replied to, the question must not be called in the House.
(3)If a written reply has not been received within 10 working days or within the period of an extension approved by the Speaker in terms of Rule 145(5), subject to Subrule (1) the Question Paper must be endorsed to the effect that the question has not been replied to, and the Speaker must inform the Leader of Government Business accordingly.

Chapter 11
Messages

147. Messages from Council

A message received from the Council must be recorded in the ATC, or be made known in such other manner as the Speaker may determine.

148. Messages to President of the Republic

A message from the House to the President of the Republic must be signed and communicated by the Speaker.

149. Messages from President of the Republic

(1)All communications from the President of the Republic to the House must, if he or she does not attend a sitting of the House or a joint sitting, be by message.
(2)The message must be presented to the House by the presiding officer, may in the discretion of the presiding officer be read out by him or her, and must be printed in the ATC, or in the Minutes of Proceedings if the message is read out in the House.
(3)The consideration of the message may be placed on the Order Paper, or the presiding officer may interrupt business at the request of the Leader of Government Business in order that precedence may be given to the consideration of the message; provided that a message whereby the President of the Republic calls a sitting of Parliament in terms of Section 42(5) of the Constitution may not be considered.

Chapter 12
Committee system

Part 1 – Introduction

150. List of committees

(1)The Assembly has the following committees —(a)as established by these rules:(i)the Rules Committee established by Rule 190;(ii)the Programme Committee established by Rule 205;(iii)the Disciplinary Committee established by Rule 216;(iv)the Forum of Committee Chairpersons established by Rule 221;(v)the portfolio committees that must be established in terms of Rule 225;(vi)the Standing Committee on Public Accounts established by Rule 243;(vii)ad hoc committees that may be established in terms of Rule 253; and(viii)the Chief Whips’ Forum established by Rule 256; and(b)as established by these rules in terms of legislation:(i)the Powers and Privileges Committee established by Rule 211;(ii)the Standing Committee on Finance established by Rule 230;(iii)the Standing Committee on Appropriations established by Rule 236; and(iv)the Standing Committee on the Auditor-General established by Rule 249.
(2)Other committees may be established but only by resolution of the Assembly.
(3)If a proposal to establish a committee is contained in draft legislation before a portfolio committee, that committee must first refer the proposal to the Rules Committee for a report and recommendation before that committee considers the proposal.
(4)The Assembly participates in joint committees and other joint structures in accordance with the Joint Rules.

151. Subcommittees

(1)A committee(a)has such subcommittees as are established by these rules; and(b)may appoint a subcommittee only when —(i)there is provision for such appointment in these rules, or(ii)authorised by resolution of the Assembly.
(2)Subrule (1) does not prevent a committee from assigning a task to one or more of its members for a purely internal or administrative purpose.
(3)If a proposal to establish a subcommittee is contained in draft legislation before a portfolio committee, that committee must first refer the proposal to the Rules Committee for a report and recommendation before that committee considers the proposal.

152. Application of rules to committees and subcommittees established in terms of legislation

These rules also apply to a committee or subcommittee established in terms of legislation, and in such application the committee or subcommittee must be regarded as having been established in terms of these rules.

Part 2 – Rules applicable to committees generally

153. Application of this part

The provisions of this part apply to all committees established by or in terms of these rules except in so far as any of these provisions is inconsistent with —(a)another provision of these rules applicable in a specific case; or(b)a resolution of the Assembly.

154. Composition

(1)Parties are entitled to be represented in committees in substantially the same proportion as the proportion in which they are represented in the Assembly, except where —(a)these rules prescribe the composition of the committee; or(b)the number of members in the committee does not allow for all parties to be represented.
(2)Subject to these rules, the Joint Rules and decisions of the Rules Committee, and where practicably possible, each party is entitled to at least one representative in a committee.

155. Appointment procedures

(1)Unless these rules provide otherwise, the parties appoint the members of a committee and advise the Speaker accordingly.
(2)Parties must appoint their members within five working days after the establishment of a committee by the House.
(3)The names of the members appointed, and alternates appointed in terms of Rule 156, must be published in the ATC without delay.

156. Alternates

(1)Alternates may be appointed for one or more specific members of a committee.
(2)An alternate acts as a member when the member for which the alternate was appointed —(a)is absent; or(b)has vacated office, until the vacancy is filled.

157. Term of office

(1)Subject to Section 49(4) of the Constitution, members of a committee and alternates for members are appointed until the Assembly’s term expires or the Assembly is dissolved, whichever occurs first.
(2)A member of a committee ceases to be a member and an alternate for a member ceases to be an alternate if a whip of the party to which that member or alternate belongs, or a designated representative of that party, gives notice to the Speaker, in writing, that the member or alternate is to be replaced or withdrawn.

158. Chairpersons

(1)A committee must elect one of its members as the chairperson of the committee.
(2)The chairperson of a committee, subject to other provisions of these rules and directions of the committee(a)presides at meetings of the committee;(b)may act in any matter on behalf of and in the best interest of the committee when it is not practical to arrange a meeting of the committee to discuss that matter, if that matter concerns —(i)a request by a person to give evidence or make oral representations to the committee,(ii)any other request to the committee, and(iii)the initiation of any steps or decisions necessary for the committee to perform its functions or exercise its powers;(c)performs the functions, tasks and duties and exercises the powers that the committee, resolutions of the Assembly and legislation may assign to the chairperson; and(d)in the event of an equality of votes on any question before the committee, must exercise a casting vote in addition to the chairperson’s vote as a member.
(3)The chairperson must report to the committee on any steps taken in terms of Subrule (2)(b).

159. Acting chairpersons

(1)If the chairperson of a committee is absent or unable to perform the functions of chairperson, the committee must elect another of its members as acting chairperson.
(2)An acting chairperson performs the functions and may exercise the powers of the chairperson.

160. First meetings

(1)The Secretary must call a meeting of a committee within five working days after the names of the members of the committee have been announced.
(2)If a party or parties have not appointed their members in time, as provided for in Rule 155(2), the Secretary must call a meeting of the committee within five working days after a sufficient number of members have been appointed to form a quorum in terms of Rule 162(2).
(3)If the Assembly is in recess, the Secretary must notify the members of the committee, the Chief Whip and the most senior whip of each of the other parties of the time and place of the meeting at least 14 days before the meeting.

161. Meetings

(1)Committees meet whenever necessary and as determined in accordance with these rules and the decisions, directives and guidelines of the Programme Committee in accordance with Rule 210.
(2)A meeting of a committee may be called in terms of Subrule (1) —(a)by the chairperson of the committee; or(b)by resolution of the Assembly.
(3)If at least one third of the members of a committee, in writing, request the chairperson of the committee to call a meeting of the committee, the chairperson must call the meeting within a reasonable time.

162. Quorum requirements

(1)A committee at all times requires at least one third of its members to be present for it to conduct any business.
(2)A majority of the members of a committee must be present for it to decide any question.
(3)When a committee has to decide a question and a quorum in terms of Subrule (2) is not present, the chairperson may either suspend business until a quorum is present, or adjourn the meeting.

163. Co-option when members and alternates not available

If a member of a committee and that member’s alternate are both absent from a meeting of the committee, the chairperson may co-opt any other Assembly member from the same party to act as a member of the committee until that committee member or the alternate member is no longer absent.

164. Interruption, suspension or adjournment

The chairperson of a committee(a)may interrupt or suspend the proceedings or adjourn the meeting; and(b)may change the date for the resumption of business, provided reasonable notice is given.

165. Information reflecting upon integrity of members

If any information reflecting upon the integrity of an Assembly member comes before a committee, the committee may not proceed upon that information, but must report it to the Speaker without delay.

166. Reporting

(1)A committee must report to the Assembly on a matter referred to the committee(a)when the Assembly is to decide the matter in terms of these rules, the Joint Rules, a resolution of the Assembly or legislation;(b)if the committee has taken a decision on the matter, whether or not the Assembly is to decide the matter as contemplated in Paragraph (a); or(c)if the committee is unable to decide a matter referred to it for report.
(2)A committee must report to the Assembly on —(a)all other decisions taken by it, except those decisions concerning its internal business; and(b)its activities at least once per year.
(3)A report of a committee(a)must be formally adopted by the committee;(b)must be submitted to the Assembly by the chairperson or another member of the committee designated by the committee; and(c)may request that the chairperson or another member of the committee designated by the committee introduces or explains the report in the Assembly.
(4)(a)A committee may not submit a minority report.(b)If a report is not a unanimous report, it must —(i)specify in which respects there was not consensus, and(ii)in addition to the views representative of the majority in the committee, express any views of a minority in the committee.
(5)If a committee reports on a matter other than a matter mentioned in Subrule (1)(a) and is of the view that its report, or a specific matter mentioned in the report, should be considered by the Assembly, it may make a request to that effect in the report.

167. General powers

For the purposes of performing its functions a committee may, subject to the Constitution, legislation, the other provisions of these rules and resolutions of the Assembly —(a)summon any person to appear before it to give evidence on oath or affirmation, or to produce documents;(b)receive petitions, representations or submissions from interested persons or institutions;(c)permit oral evidence on petitions, representations, submissions and any other matter before the committee;(d)conduct public hearings;(e)consult any Assembly or Council committee or subcommittee, or any joint committee or subcommittee;(f)determine its own working arrangements;(g)meet at a venue determined by it, which may be a venue beyond the seat of Parliament;(h)meet on any day and at any time, including —(i)on a day which is not a working day,(ii)on a day on which the Assembly is not sitting,(iii)at a time when the Assembly is sitting, or(iv)during a recess; and(i)exercise any other powers assigned to it by the Constitution, legislation, the other provisions of these rules or resolutions of the Assembly.

168. Privilege of witnesses

Prior to a witness giving evidence before a House or committee, the chairperson must in accordance with Section 16 of the Powers and Privileges Act inform the witness as follows:“Please be informed that by law you are required to answer fully and satisfactorily all the questions lawfully put to you, or to produce any document that you are required to produce, in connection with the subject matter of the enquiry, notwithstanding the fact that the answer or the document could incriminate you or expose you to criminal or civil proceedings, or damages. You are, however, protected in that evidence given under oath or affirmation before a House or committee may not be used against you in any court or place outside Parliament, except in criminal proceedings concerning a charge of perjury or a charge relating to the evidence or documents required in these proceedings.”

169. Conferring powers of committees

(1)A committee may confer with any other committee of the Assembly.
(2)Committees must confer —(a)if the Assembly instructs them to confer; or(b)during a recess, if the Speaker, with the concurrence of the Chief Whip, instructs them to confer.
(3)When committees meet to confer, the chairpersons of the respective committees co-chair the meeting.
(4)Committees conferring in terms of Subrule (1) may report jointly, subject to the provisions of Rule 228(2).
(5)If a committee is unable to meet to confer with another committee within reasonable time frames, the committee may invite the other committee to convey its views in writing.

170. Public involvement

Committees must ensure public involvement in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution and these rules.

Part 3 – Rules applicable to subcommittees generally

171. Application of this part

The provisions of this part apply to all subcommittees established by or in terms of these rules except in so far as any of these provisions is inconsistent with —(a)another provision of these rules applicable in a specific case; or(b)a resolution of the Assembly.

172. General rules

(1)A subcommittee established by or in terms of these rules —(a)is accountable to its parent committee;(b)must carry out its task and responsibilities within a policy framework determined by its parent committee and in accordance with these rules and any directives, guidelines or regulations issued by the parent committee;(c)may consult any Assembly or Council committee or subcommittee, or any joint committee or subcommittee;(d)may determine its own working arrangements, subject to these rules, any directives of the parent committee or resolutions of the Assembly;(e)may only make recommendations to its parent committee; and(f)must report to its parent committee regularly or when requested by the parent committee.
(2)The parent committee of a subcommittee —(a)must appoint the members of the subcommittee from among its members;(b)may, if appropriate, determine a period within which the subcommittee must complete its task;(c)must determine the extent, nature and form of the subcommittee’s reports to the committee, and time limits for the submission of a report;(d)may delegate any of its powers to the subcommittee necessary for the subcommittee to perform its task; and(e)may instruct the subcommittee to perform any of its functions.

173. Alternates

(1)A parent committee may appoint alternates from among its members for one or more specific members of a subcommittee.
(2)An alternate acts as a member when the member for which the alternate was appointed —(a)is absent; or(b)has vacated office, until the vacancy is filled.

174. Term of office

(1)Subject to Section 49(4) of the Constitution, the members of a subcommittee established by a provision of these rules and any alternates for those members are appointed until the Assembly’s term expires or the Assembly is dissolved, whichever occurs first.
(2)A subcommittee established by a committee in terms of a provision of these rules ceases to exist —(a)when it has completed the task for which it was established; or(b)if it is dissolved earlier by the parent committee.
(3)(a)A member of a subcommittee ceases to be a member and an alternate for a member ceases to be an alternate if a whip of the party to which that member or alternate belongs gives notice to the Speaker, in writing, that the member or alternate is to be replaced or withdrawn.(b)The written notice to the Speaker in terms of Subrule (3)(a) must be copied to the parent committee.

175. Chairpersons

(1)The parent committee of a subcommittee must designate a member of the subcommittee as the chairperson of the subcommittee.
(2)The chairperson of a subcommittee, subject to the other provisions of these rules and the directions of the parent committee(a)presides at meetings of the subcommittee;(b)may act in any matter on behalf of and in the best interest of the subcommittee when it is not practical to arrange a meeting of the subcommittee to discuss that matter, if that matter concerns —(i)a request by a person to give evidence or make oral representations to the subcommittee,(ii)any other request to the subcommittee, and(iii)the initiation of any steps or decisions necessary for the subcommittee to perform its functions or exercise its powers; and(c)performs the functions, tasks and duties and exercises the powers that the parent committee, resolutions of the Assembly and legislation may assign to the chairperson.
(3)The chairperson must report to the subcommittee on any steps taken in terms of Subrule (2)(b).

176. Acting chairpersons

(1)If the chairperson of a subcommittee is absent or unable to perform the functions of chairperson, the subcommittee must elect another of its members as acting chairperson.
(2)An acting chairperson performs the functions and exercises the powers of the chairperson.

177. Meetings

(1)Subcommittees meet whenever necessary and as determined in accordance with these rules and the decisions, directives and guidelines of the Programme Committee in accordance with Rule 210.
(2)A meeting of a subcommittee may be called in terms of Subrule (1) by —(a)the chairperson of the subcommittee;(b)the parent committee; or(c)the chairperson of the parent committee.

178. Matters relating to quorum

A subcommittee may proceed with business irrespective of the number of members present.

179. Decisions

(1)A question before a subcommittee is decided by consensus.
(2)If consensus cannot be reached, all views in the subcommittee on the question must be reported to the parent committee.

180. General powers

A subcommittee has the powers listed in Rule 167 only when assigned to it in terms of these rules or by a resolution of the Assembly.

Part 4 – Rules applicable to both committees and subcommittees generally

181. Application of this part

The provisions of this part apply to all committees and subcommittees established by or in terms of these rules except in so far as any of these provisions is inconsistent with —(a)another provision of these rules applicable in a specific case; or(b)a resolution of the Assembly.

182. Conduct of members

Members must at all times conduct themselves in a manner befitting the dignity and decorum of a forum of the Assembly.

183. Persons appearing before committees

Any person, including counsel and attorneys, appearing before a committee or subcommittee must observe the directions and conform to the procedures determined by the chairperson of the committee or subcommittee.

184. Admission of public

(1)Meetings of committees and subcommittees are open to the public, including the media, and the chairperson of the committee or subcommittee may not exclude the public, including the media, from the meeting, except when —(a)legislation, these rules or resolutions of the Assembly provide for the committee or subcommittee to meet in closed session; or(b)the committee or subcommittee is considering a matter which is —(i)of a private nature that is prejudicial to a particular person,(ii)protected under parliamentary privilege, or for any other reason privileged in terms of the law, or(iii)confidential in terms of legislation,the nature of which is such that its confidential treatment is reasonable and justifiable in an open and democratic society.
(2)A decision in terms of Subrule (1) to exclude the public must be taken, after due consideration, by the committee or subcommittee concerned, provided that the chairperson of the committee or subcommittee may at any time —(a)before the start of the meeting rule that the meeting must take place in closed session, but the committee or subcommittee may at any time after the start of the meeting open the meeting; or(b)close the meeting for a decision by the committee or subcommittee whether the matter should be considered in closed session.
(3)The Speaker must —(a)set aside places for the public in the committee rooms; and(b)determine the entrances and routes through which the public can obtain access to these places.
(4)The Speaker may take reasonable measures —(a)to regulate public access, including access of the media, to the committees and subcommittees;(b)to prevent and control misconduct of the public in committee rooms; and(c)to provide for the searching of any person, including that person’s vehicle or other property in that person’s possession, and, where appropriate, the refusal of entry to, or the removal of, any person.

185. Presence of other Assembly members

(1)A member of the Assembly who is not a member of the committee or subcommittee may be present at a meeting of the committee or subcommittee.
(2)A member mentioned in Subrule (1) who is present at a meeting of a committee or subcommittee —(a)may speak on a matter before the committee or subcommittee subject to any reasonable restrictions the chairperson may impose; and(b)may not vote except when the vote is cast as an alternate in terms of Rule 156.

186. Exclusion of members of public from meetings

The chairperson of a committee or subcommittee may —(a)order a member of the public to leave the meeting —(i)when the public is excluded from a meeting in terms of Rule 184(1), or(ii)when necessary to give effect to the measures taken under Rule 184(3); or(b)order a person referred to in Rule 183 to leave the meeting if that person does not comply with a ruling of the chairperson.

187. Exclusion of other persons from meetings

When the public is excluded from a meeting of a committee or subcommittee in terms of Rule 184(1), the chairperson may order a staff member, a government official and any other person not deemed a member of the public, excluding a member of the Assembly, also to leave the meeting.

188. Removal of persons

When instructed by the chairperson of a committee or subcommittee, the Serjeant-at-Arms must remove or arrange for the removal of any person who —(a)without permission, is present in that part of a committee room designated for members of the committee or subcommittee only;(b)disrupts the proceedings of the committee or subcommittee or causes a nuisance; or(c)does not leave when ordered to leave under Rule 186 or 187.

189. Publication or disclosure of proceedings, evidence, reports, etc

(1)All documents officially before, or emanating from, a committee or subcommittee are open to the public, including the media, but the following documents may not be published, and their contents may not be disclosed, except with the permission of the committee, or the parent committee in the case of a subcommittee, or by order of the Speaker, or by resolution of the Assembly: